International Teams Accept NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System Challenge to Help Find Volcanoes, Icebergs, and Cats from Space

Teams from around the world helped GIBS find volcanoes, icebergs, and cats from space in NASA's 2015 International Space Apps Challenge.

Almost 40 teams from around the world took up NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System’s (EOSDIS) challenge to find cats (and volcanoes, icebergs, and other interesting Earth events) in images provided by EOSDIS’s Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS) in NASA's 2015 International Space Apps Challenge hackathon April 11-12.


The EOSDIS GIBS challenge, “Volcanoes, Icebergs, and Cats from Space,” was one of 35 challenges in this year’s competition, in which teams from around the world worked collectively to develop open-source solutions to address global needs applicable to both life on Earth and life in space. More than 12,500 participants in 135 locations developed 928 projects over 48 hours to address challenges in four themes: Outer Space, Earth, Humans, and Robotics.

EOSDIS GIBS challenged teams to create an app to help crowdsource the search for interesting Earth events from images captured by NASA’s fleet of Earth observing satellites, such as erupting volcanoes, burning wildfires, and floating clouds that look like cats (or other interesting objects!). The wide range of creative responses to the challenge can be seen at

GIBS is a key service of NASA’s EOSDIS, and provides visualizations of NASA Earth observing satellite data. GIBS data can be viewed using the EOSDIS’ Worldview interactive interface and other clients.

Space Apps Challenge projects receiving Global Nominations advance to the Global Judging round, where winners are selected in five finalist categories: Best Mission Concept, Best Use of Hardware, Best Use of Data, Most Inspiring, and Galactic Impact. The five finalists from the Global Judging move into the final round of judging by NASA executives. In addition, a People’s Choice winner also is selected. Winners will be announced in mid-May.