Daniel C. Berrios • Maarten Sierhuis • Richard M. Keller
NASA’s Mobile Agents project leads coordinated planetary exploration simulations at the Mars Desert Research Station. Through ScienceOrganizer, a Web-based tool for organizing and providing contextual information for scientific data sets, remote teams of scientists access and annotate data sets, images, documents and other forms of scientific information, applying predefined semantic links and metadata using a Web browser. We designed and developed an experimental geographic information server that integrates remotely sensed images of scientific activity areas with information regarding activity plans, actors and data that had been characterized semantically using ScienceOrganizer. The server automatically obtains remotely sensed photographs of geographic survey sites at various resolutions and combines these images with scientific survey data to generate “context maps” illustrating the paths of survey actors and the sequence and types of data collected during simulated surface “extra-vehicular activities.” The remotely located scientific team found the context maps were extremely valuable for achieving and conveying activity plan consensus.