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Opportunity's maps in Google's Mars
Ross Beyer
post Sep 30 2010, 09:22 PM
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Hello there. Long time occasional lurker, first time poster.

I'm part of the Planetary Content Team here at NASA Ames that partners with Google, Inc. to get content into Google Mars and Google Moon. Emily pointed me at this thread and asked if I could help.

Let me first apologize for the staleness of the Google Mars content. There are a lot of factors there that I won't go into, but I can assure you that we're working on it, and hope to have improved (near-automatic) updates from the PDS to content layers in Google Earth real soon now. However, that's an entirely different category of problem from the one you're contemplating.

I can see that you guys are working hard on getting a map solution in place, which is awesome. My group can help with that, and its one of the things on our plate for Google Mars updates (so we're gonna do it anyway), and we might as well do it sooner rather than later and get it up on a temporary server so that you can start using it, with the expectation that the overlays we provide on this server will become 'burned in' to the Google Mars basemap at the next major release.

The question is how do we go about it? There are some decisions that we have to make and I'm looking for your input here.

One of the issues is that the Victoria Crater DTM and color image are not positioned as good as they could be on the global coordinate system in Google Mars (this was one of the first HiRISE DTMs made by the USGS over three years ago). Would you favor leaving it where it is (so that existing KML that you and others have built will stay put) or should we try and do a better job of controlling its position (and the position of the nesting HiRISE b&w image, etc.) which will cause the topography and imagery to move relative to where they are now (you know, probably not by a whole lot)? Naturally this latter option will take some time because we'll want to really get it right this time and not have to do it again.

The other issue is that it is easy for my group to take the HiRISE images that reach from Victoria Crater to the rim of Endeavor, mosaic them together and get them put in place. However, there is a HiRISE stereo pair (PSP_010341_1775 & ESP_012398_1775) over the western rim of Endeavor Crater that has not yet been made into a terrain model. The quick thing is to just do a good job of mosaicking HiRISE images from the known 'good' anchor of Victoria Crater outwards. If we do this, and then a DTM of the Endeavor Rim comes along later we might find that our mosaic has wondered a bit by the time it has gotten to the rim, and we'd have to go back and correct it. So that could be pre-empted by making this DTM now, but it would take some time.

I look forward to reading your thoughts on these issues.
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Stu
post Sep 30 2010, 09:53 PM
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...and the award for "Best First Post EVER" goes to...

laugh.gif

Welcome aboard, Ross, sounds like you have some big and great plans for Google Mars! Looking forward to seeing them on my monitor soon! smile.gif


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ElkGroveDan
post Sep 30 2010, 10:02 PM
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Thanks for the nice detailed status update Ross. As far as I can tell this discussion evolved to where it is because of the impending termination of high-res imagery along Opportunity's expected route. I for one would be in favor of a stopgap placement of high res images to complete the drive to Endeavor's rim with the more comprehensive updates later on. The misalignment of the existing kml files is something that a couple of us could remedy later on while at the same time providing a larger benefit to the most observers in the short term.

But that's just my opinion I'd like to hear from everyone else. Hopefully we can all keep it to a couple of sentences and not segue into all kinds of other topics.


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If Occam had heard my theory, things would be very different now.
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Tesheiner
post Oct 1 2010, 09:29 AM
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QUOTE (Ross Beyer @ Sep 30 2010, 11:22 PM) *
One of the issues is that the Victoria Crater DTM and color image are not positioned as good as they could be on the global coordinate system in Google Mars (this was one of the first HiRISE DTMs made by the USGS over three years ago). Would you favor leaving it where it is (so that existing KML that you and others have built will stay put) or should we try and do a better job of controlling its position (and the position of the nesting HiRISE b&w image, etc.) which will cause the topography and imagery to move relative to where they are now (you know, probably not by a whole lot)? Naturally this latter option will take some time because we'll want to really get it right this time and not have to do it again.


Welcome on board Ross and many MANY thanks for the job your team is doing to put content into GE.

I'm aware of this "misalignment" and the effect on all "third party" layers already done on top of the current HiRISE background if you update that background. I would vote (**) for correcting it but also to release the updated content at the same time as the "final version" of the extended coverage up to and including Endeavour (see below).

QUOTE
The other issue is that it is easy for my group to take the HiRISE images that reach from Victoria Crater to the rim of Endeavor, mosaic them together and get them put in place. However, there is a HiRISE stereo pair (PSP_010341_1775 & ESP_012398_1775) over the western rim of Endeavor Crater that has not yet been made into a terrain model. The quick thing is to just do a good job of mosaicking HiRISE images from the known 'good' anchor of Victoria Crater outwards. If we do this, and then a DTM of the Endeavor Rim comes along later we might find that our mosaic has wondered a bit by the time it has gotten to the rim, and we'd have to go back and correct it. So that could be pre-empted by making this DTM now, but it would take some time.


In this case I would vote (**) for the two steps approach. First (call it a "draft") the quick mosaic fitting to the current HiRISE background around VC and then, once the DTM is available, the "final version" together with the updated map around Victoria. I think this is more or less the same as said by ElkGroveDan.

I'm aware that if this happens my route map layer would have to be updated too but I already took some measures to ease this work.
The hundreds of elements in the layer are in lat/long coordinates of course but the map is automatically generated from an Excel sheet where all the elements are stored in (x, y) coordinates referred to PSP_009141_1780 (and PSP_010341_1775 in the future). Since the current B&W background around VC is based on a different picture (PSP_001414_1780, I think) taken with a higher emission angle, the (x, y) -> (lat, long) transformation is not straightforward but I'm making use of several "control points" along the route to calculate the (lat, long) coordinates of the KML elements. In a sentence: if I need to register the route layer to a different background I must manually find the (lat, long) coordinates of the "control points" (currently 14) on that background.

(**) I feel like a kid writing a wish list to Santa Claus. biggrin.gif
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Ross Beyer
post Oct 7 2010, 07:14 PM
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It seems like you guys have made excellent progress in extending the maps you have for now, so my group won't try and get out a 'quick' product. Instead we'll focus on making a better-controlled map of the traverse area. Based on comments here, I think we'll re-consider the location of the Victoria DEM (which means that it may move, although we may also decide that it'll move so little that we may just leave it--we'll see).

However, as I mentioned, we'll try and get it done sooner rather than later, and get a 'draft' posted for you guys so that you can have some time to adjust your placemarks before these maps go 'live' into the client.

Also, while you seem to have found a great solution for making KML Image Overlays, I just wanted to share with you a pointer to the (unix) software that we use to build overlays. We built a tool called image2qtree which is a part of our Vision Workbench software. However, if you aren't keen in configuring and compiling C++ code, the image2qtree program is also available in ready-to-run binary form (for Mac and Linux) in our Stereo Pipeline package.
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Stuart H
post Nov 17 2010, 09:58 AM
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Ross,
My issue is not with an Opportunity image, but a HiRISE image (PSP_002347_1915) of the possible Beagle 2 landing site.
It is located at 11.69°N; 90.7°E on the globe instead of 11.59°N (from HiRISE web site). This seems to be a simple editorial error and (hopefully) is simple to correct.
Can you arrange for the necessary correction to occur ?

Stuart
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Ross Beyer
post Nov 17 2010, 07:18 PM
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Stuart,

Good point, our 'burned-in' version of that image sure is off, as you describe. I'm not sure how it happened. We 'burned-in' about 500 HiRISE images, so we just pulled their coordinates from the PDS data and placed them according to that. However, the PDS coordinates for that image are right, so maybe they got updated in the last year and a half. I've noted it and we'll get it fixed (although not sure I can promise a time--hopefully sooner than a few months). Thanks for noticing it.
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Tom Tamlyn
post Nov 18 2010, 05:36 PM
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>>this discussion evolved to where it is because of the impending termination of high-res imagery along Opportunity's expected route

I'm a little puzzled by this statement, perhaps because I haven't been following this topic closely. Do you mean that the imaging campaign will soon be completed, or that it will be suspended due to other priorities or constraints? Or something else entirely? I've checked up several related threads and done some searches without finding further explanation.

TTT
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charborob
post Nov 18 2010, 06:27 PM
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It concerns the termination of hi-res imagery along Opportunity's expected route when you view it in Google Mars.
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Tom Tamlyn
post Nov 19 2010, 05:36 PM
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Ah, right, the very topic of this thread. (duh)

Funny how many, er, "types of ambiguity" there can be.

TTT
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