From the Cloud to the Crowd: NASA and Microsoft Ask Citizen Scientists to “Be a Martian” Microsoft

Now anyone with a Web browser can become a Martian explorer. That’s because NASA is launching a new citizen-science Web site, called “Be a Martian,” that gives people a chance to view hundreds of thousands of images gathered over decades of exploration on the Red Planet. Site visitors can pan, zoom and explore the planet through images from Mars landers, roving explorers and orbiting satellites dating from the 1960s to the present. Many of the images have never before been seen.
The site is also designed as a game with a twofold purpose: NASA and Microsoft hope it will spur interest in science and technology among students in the U.S. and around the world. It also is a “crowdsourcing” tool designed to tap visitors’ brains and help the space agency process volumes of Mars images.