NASA and Cisco's "Online Global Nervous System," Planetary Skin

By March 17, 2009

NASA and Cisco are partnering to develop Planetary Skin, an online collaborative global monitoring platform using Web 2.0 and 3.0 technologies to capture, analyze and manage the planet’s environmental data. The developers describe Planetary Skin as “a global nervous system,” which assimilates all global data into one collaborative online network. The Planetary Skin white paper describes the platform as “A massive global system that monitors environmental conditions, [which] enables effective decision-making in the private / public sectors and in communities by providing data collected from a myriad of sources, including space, airborne, maritime, terrestrial, and people-based sensor networks.

"This data is analyzed, verified, and reported over an intelligent Web 2.0 network platform.”

Planetary Skin is made up of three interlocking subsystems: SensorFabric, which analyzes global air and surface data, DecisionSpaces, a mashup of decision-support tools, and CommonSpaces, which enables innovation from governments and the private sector.

The platform takes a “system of systems” approach. Bringing together data from climate systems across the globe and bringing them together with collaborative tools.

“The plug-and-play nature of the platform will allow other players in the public, private, and NGO sectors, and in the research community, to contribute their expertise at different layers of the architecture.”

Today, climactic data is fragmented among millions of sources and will increase exponentially as the Internet of Things evolves. Planetary Skin will create a common platform to collect, report, analyze and manage this data.

The first prototype of Planetary Skin will focus on deforestation, the elimination of which would have an economic value of an estimated $400 billion a year.

Read the entire Planetary Skin white paper PDF here.

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