Accessing NASA Digital Media Now Easier With New Library Search Engine

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

While it is exciting to see all this great NASA content made easily available to the public, the most interesting opportunity will come from how other organizations utilize the API … as part of their own web application or research project.

By leveraging cloud computing and storage capabilities, V! Studios developed a highly scalable, cost efficient multimedia library for NASA at images.nasa.gov, which officially launched to the public on March 28, 2017.

NASA, like many other government agencies, is challenged with compiling, archiving, and retrieving massive amounts of digitized content. Prior to this agency-wide media solution, each NASA center is responsible for managing its own multimedia repository. Historically, this meant that users would often have to search multiple repositories to find a particular media asset.

V! Studios built an Application Program Interface (API) backend that permits curators at each NASA center to upload media assets in bulk, index existing metadata, and preserve the original files. The backend automatically transcodes and resizes all files into popular standards including those for mobile devices. At any time, a curator can add or edit metadata tags on any image, audio, or video file. The site grants visitors the ability to conduct quick searches, find related content, refine search results by date, and discover the most recently uploaded or most popular images.

To provide flexibility to customers, the application is built with a backend “engine”, which exposes an “API”, with a mobile-friendly responsive web front-end. Anyone can integrate a customized application with the system by making simple HTTP requests to the API.

The solution…

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