wiebke and cindy chin

This story was originally published in the Data Discovery digital magazine, created in coordination with NASA Datanauts, engaging with each other and subject matter experts to solve data challenges. For this story and more like it, stay tuned to the OpenNASA blog or view the magazine here. This blog is part of an 11-part series.

Today’s blog author is Wiebke Hurrelmann, a digital map maker who loves tinkering with hardware and software.

Easing the Pathway for Future Datanauts

By Wiebke Hurrelmann

When I started out on my journey as a Datanaut, I eagerly completed the “Intro to coding” track and dove head-first into the amazing number of data sources available on data.nasa.gov. I did some website scraping on Voyager data and found a great page on experiments that have been performed on the International Space Station. I started wondering how all of this connects. The question emerged: How can we provide some kind of visualization and toolbox for Datanauts to quickly find a collection of interesting data around a certain topic that they can play with? How can a data source be discovered in just a few clicks?

I created a network visualization using Python (can be found on the Datanaut Github) and Javascript that shows connections between topics, using their respective tags and also a very low level schematic of how the data could be structured for discovery.

Since then, we have formed a team of like-minded Datanauts around the NASA data universe and are exploring different areas, looking at how to enrich the tags of existing data sources, incorporate new ones, and find out what could be useful views. We are in the process of discovering new ways to go about this and are looking forward to ideas and expertise from new Datanauts.