Artify the Earth

    The Challenge

    Use NASA Earth imagery data to create 1) an art piece, or 2) a tool that allows the imagery to be manipulated to create unique pieces of art.


    NASA has collected images of the Earth for over five decades. In addition to helping us understand the biosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, lithosphere, and atmosphere, these images show us the incomparable beauty of our home planet. For this challenge, take in these breathtaking images, be inspired, and allow your artistic imagination to go wild!

    Your challenge is to adapt NASA images or other spectral data to a medium of your choice, and develop your own interpretation of NASA’s Earth observations. Or, build a tool or an application that allows others to transform or enhance NASA’s Earth images or spectral band data into novel creations. What you create can inform, educate, or inspire.

    Potential Considerations

    If you are creating with spectral band data, consider the following:

    • Optical images, or what we see as multicolored images, are made of measurements of spectral bands gathered from NASA’s missions. An example of image transformation is assigning spectral bands to different Red, Blue, and Green (RBG) color assignments to create alternate renditions
    • There is an incredible number of phone applications used to manipulate imagery for artistic purposes. These applications change image clarity, adjust color tone, apply unique filters, merge multiple images together, fragment images into patterns, and transform pictures into works of art in the style of famous painters, illustrators, and artists. Any combination of these features or others will also allow users to create unique pieces of art
    • You might consider how your project could be used for educational purposes. For example, if developing a tool to manipulate spectral band data, consider adding features that share information about the satellite missions that gathered the data, the spectral bands used to create the RBG image, or the area being displayed (natural history, geography, sociology)
    • Data inputs could run the gamut of NASA data and include even more than just Earth imagery, allowing for art based on imagery of other planets
    • Consider incorporating data that go beyond optical properties, like elevation layers (e.g., see Shuttle Radar Topography Mission resource provided below), or processed products that represent physical characteristics of the planet

    Examples of Resources

    See NASA Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS) for access to over 400 satellite products.

    NASA Worldview is an easy way to visualize GIBS data in your browser.

    NASA’s Earth Science Data Systems Program,, describes several sources of Earth science data.

    NASA Earthdata Search allows you to search, discover, visualize, refine, and access NASA Earth Observation data.

    The NASA Scientific Visualization Studio wants you to learn about NASA programs through visualization. The SVS works closely with scientists in the creation of visualizations, animations, and images in order to promote a greater understanding of Earth and Space Science research activities at NASA and within the academic research community supported by NASA.

    Shuttle Radar Topography Mission:

    NASA Logo

    SpaceApps is a NASA incubator innovation program.