NASA includes an Israeli scientist’s challenge in international space apps competition

Prof. Alon Peled proposes a groundbreaking approach for enabling information sharing among public sector agencies, whose computer systems are notoriously complex.

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April 30, 2015 15:43
1 minute read.
Deep space bright nebula

Deep space bright nebula. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)

 
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For the first time in the history of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s International Space Apps Challenge, it has chosen a challenge based on the work of an Israeli scientist.

Others were proposed by developers from the US, Italy, Egypt, Tunisia, Slovenia, India, New Zealand and Macedonia.

NASA sponsored the Fourth Space Apps hackathon in April. During the global competition, nearly 13,000 participants developed 947 projects in 133 sites worldwide. The teams tried to solve the 25 space challenges that NASA released on a special web site created for the competition https://2015.spaceappschallenge.org).

HU political scientist Prof.Alon Peled developed a challenge based on his new book, Traversing Digital Babel – Information, E-Government, and Exchange, and on his Public Sector Information Exchange research project, one of the leading Hebrew University projects in the field of “Big Data.” The project is supported by a Google faculty research award and received funding from Yissum, HU’s technology transfer arm.

Forty-five software developers from the other countries tried to solve Peled’s challenge, which can be seen at https://2015.spaceappschallenge.org/challenge/ data-treasure-hunting.


The developers self-organized into 16 software development teams and worked for 48 hours straight to develop different software solutions. “The goal of this challenge was to find a way to transform NASA ’s information assets so that they are easier to discover on the Web, so that citizens, entrepreneurs, and experts working in non-space domains can discover and use them.

NASA receives the solutions developed during the competition and can then use these solutions to develop better keywords to tag the Big Data information assets that it develops and releases on the web for the benefit of all of humanity.”

In Peled’s book, he proposes a groundbreaking approach for enabling information sharing among public sector agencies, whose computer systems are notoriously complex. Peled maintains that his solutions could save governments billions of dollars, improve services to citizens and even save lives. These include using selective incentives to induce agencies to exchange information assets and the establishment of a public sector information exchange through which agencies would trade information.

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