Monday, May 4, 2009

Lunar Orbiter Digitization Project
In 1966, there were five Lunar Orbiter missions launched which devoted to mapping potential lunar landing sites. Original Lunar Orbiter images were photographic images acquired during the mission period and be scanned into a series of strips on spacecraft and then transmitted back to earth. The images would be printed out in very high resolution.
This project provides more current updates which are available online. There are three sections: Global Status & Download; HiRes Status & Download and Pilot Project. I carefully reviewed Pilot Project part and found that this site is super enriched. There is a link to Lunar Orbiter Digitization Project Index where under parent directory, the images are listed with information about size and last modified time. Some of the images are in gif format while some are in tif format. Also there are html links. Comparing with other digitization project and comparing with their websites, this project seems complex by involving multiple image formats and due to the particular characteristic of the images, sophisticated digital technology was applied. Although there are relatively less images
Within Download part, there is a big star map pops out and users could select numbers in red italics to access data available for download. It is well virtualized. As if select a number, you could go further and access to downloadable images in a new window. The images are in low resolution jpeg format with rich medadata including which mission it was, size, frame number and so forth.
It is an amazing website and an awesome project.

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