This being said, I look forward to advanced imaging and the analysis Terra Bella will bring.
I'm going to guess this is probably not intentional on their end. They're probably aware of the issue, but likely it's a side-effect of an architectural decision that was made previously and hard to un-make now.
While this is a not-uncommon occurrence for me, it's really freaking annoying.
Forget whether it breaks the back button. I'm going to say it again because apparently companies need it repeated: scrolling is annoying in itself, but I can't scroll without it breaking.
I scroll down, ok.
Wait, did a menu just appear at the top of my screen out of nowhere?
I keep scrolling down...
I scroll back up... wait a second...there's all these other pages I'm viewing now that I've never even seen before on the way down...what happened?
Ok, those little nav button things on the right hand side of my screen? Well apparently, I can't actually scroll to the bottom one...it just never gets there.
Wait no, I can get to the bottom one, if i start on the top one and scroll down, because apparently that makes me skip the other middle two buttons somehow, but if i click on the middle two buttons and scroll down, although i hit the bottom of the page, it still says i'm not at the bottom of the third nav-button. "What's going on?" i say to myself...
Holy cow, wait...there's two nav buttons...a bar on the top and dots on the side?
All right, screw this, its broken, i'll just refresh and start from the beginning...oh no...refresh didn't bring me back to the beginning at all because I'm not actually on the original URL...
Sweet mercy...university lecture material example of how NOT to do a webpage anyone? And a google product at that?
What happened google?
Edit: and the bugs keep piling up the more I look at it, your Terabella link in the top left, not only does it duplicate the links in the other two navigation panes, but it doesn't work! It's taken me to two separate screens now!
Sorry, I'm in an angry mood today, but seriously...
I suppose New Tab would be my best friend here so I can just X it, but weird abuse of basic browser functionality should be shamed.
How does that happen?
They should have to open a door repeatedly, only to have someone push them back when they try to walk through for a few weeks, for example!
This page is trash! I'm sure that there is some interesting info there but after hijacking my scrolling, and browsing history, I just don't care about it.
From the sounds of it, it would have been more painful if everything worked.
Great content, though original presentation is unusable. My whole computer started to lag, not only the web browser (chrome). Probably Google's web developers use very powerful workstations..
Yes, this is one thing I've noticed; I think your guess is right. It is a peeve of mine about some Google products. Some of their other products seem to have the same or similar issues - and not just performance; truncated or somewhat unusable UI is another area, due to monitor size, for one.
When Wave first came out, I tried, it was so slow as to be unusable.
You'd think that they would test their products on lower-specced hardware, knowing that not everyone has the same h/w as them.
Are there any resources that talk about what is a safe number of satellites for different altitudes and the effects of space pollution?
I have heard of the Kessler Syndrome, any suggestions that discuss this?
Generally as part of the permitting process you have to file an Orbital Debris Assessment Report that contains predictions for orbital lifetime, what will happen to the satellite at EOL, systems for putting the satellite in a safe orbit in case of in-service failure, launch failure etc, risk of collision with other orbital objects and so on.
The details differ depending what orbital regime. Things at ISS altitude (~400km) or below will deorbit very quickly (days to months). Terra Bella and other earth observation satellites are typically in slightly altitude, sun-synchronous, near-polar orbits. They will need to carry propellant to drop the vehicle down to a lower orbit when they are taken out of service, otherwise the orbital lifetime will be 5-50 years.
Geosynchronous satellites are basically going to be up there forever, so they are placed into a slightly lower (but still extremely high) parking orbit after their useful life ends. This keeps them out of the way of the active satellites, and the orbit there is so large that collisions are unlikely.
Finally, the US maintains radar tracking, and will notify operators if a collision is possible so they can make a maneuver. Generally a small adjustment, if performed ahead of time, is sufficient to reduce the probability of collision significantly.
The scary things are debris that are too small to track but large enough to cause damage, and situations where non-operational satellites conjuct.
Fun fact: if the conjunction probability is high enough, the Air Force will call you in the middle of the night.
Lots. It tracks radius squared, if not cubed. As altitude gets large (which you need for orbit anyway), you can fit a ton of small satellites safely.
I mean low earth orbit is at least as much space as we have on the surface, which is already pretty damn big.
Yeah, speeds and orbits and stuff change the game a bit, but i can't imagine even a few thousands of satellites cramping a space that large.
When a satellite nears the end of its life expectancy, US law requires that the remainder of the propellant be used to decelerate it so it disintegrates in the atmosphere over the ocean. Presumably European and Asian space agencies have similar rules. These rules didn't used to exist, and there's stuff that's been up for decades.
Yes, these objects are very far apart, but they are moving very fast, and there are surprisingly many of them. Operational satellites are extremely valuable, and if we anticipate anywhere close to a 1 in 1000 chance that one of these objects will collide with one of our satellites, we will burn some of the irreplaceable propellant to avoid it.
Which is when relative motion becomes a problem. The Empire State Building and the Trump Building are at approximately the same altitude (i.e. sea level) but you don't have to worry about them crashing into each other because their relative position doesn't change. In space everything is in relative motion which effectively costs you another dimension.
Then you no longer have "space" you just have "a line" and if two things are at the same point on the line, they eventually crash into each other.
But anyway space is very big and the probability of collisions is still low. Two geostationary satellites out of control would probably not collide, they will pass a few hundred of meters away in any direction. The big distance between them is mostly to avoid interference between the radio signals.
The worst case would presumably be something large and heavy put into orbit around the equator at the same altitude and speed as geostationary orbit but going in the opposite direction.
Tell me why you might think thats a bad idea?
It's not an infinite amount of space, so without taking some precautions it would fill up over time, and it's undoubtedly easier and cheaper to avoid the problem altogether than it is to fix it once it becomes a problem.
"________ is huge, we don't have to worry about it!" is how we ended up with so much pollution on earth, so why make the same mistake in space?
See for example Figure 10 of:
I've always wanted to get a group of people together at my college and build a CubeSat but when you say "I want to build a satellite" people think you are crazy.
We have the labs, the supplies, and the ability to expense anything we want but no one thinks it is possible.
It was one of the most rewarding things I did in college. We launched a cubesat and used it to capture images of the curvature of the Earth and measure the Earth's magnetic field. The work to build the cubesat was tough, but extremely rewarding.
Check out http://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/national/spac... and see if you can find a local Space Grant program. They'd more than likely be able to either get you the resources or point you in the right direction to get going.
We launched ours via a ballon which had the cubesats attached to it. We needed a micro-controller (even easier to find now) a camera and our sensors. All very obtainable. I think the most expensive thing was the magnetometers which ran $80 a pop.
Kessler Syndrome can be brought under control with as few as five upper stage boosters brought out of orbit per year. Whether the political will exists to spend money to clean up our space mess is another issue entirely.
Will Google use this, or allow others to use this, to surveil me from space? How about protesters at this summer's U.S. political conventions? Will they allow me to use this to watch Google's headquarters?
It also concentrates more power in the hands of a few. If the predictive tech works well, how can ordinary people who don't have access to that information compete? As investors in the stock market? Their small business in the marketplace? As a grassroots competitor in a political campaign?
This is an NSA wet dream privatized and privately funded by Google.
Sounds great but we all know what's going to happen with this data.
Satellites orbit at an altitude several 100 times higher and are much less invasive. There are a lot of cool applications, like cartography, monitoring farmland, monitoring the icecaps, etc.
I care deeply about civil liberties, but I think this is not the droid we're looking for.
Interestingly, Google acquired Terra Bella in 2014. Even though the domain says google.com, is this an Alphabet subsidiary or part of Google itself?
Though Planet Labs will always be my first affection in this space. Talk about a hard and interesting problem. This data takes you to so many different places.
Regarding the content of the page, which has been summarized at http://pastebin.com/raw/kYpdLgYg by commenter Raphmedia, I'm impressed. 90cm resolution in a 100kg package is pretty crazy. That they control the multimillion dollar satellite through a web interface is interesting. One clear advantage they have over governmental systems is their ability to do international launches (their initial launch from French Guiana certainly gave them some significant boost of tangential velocity compared to say, Russia, which is geologically screwed.) If anyone wants to see a visualization of that, see http://i.imgur.com/6c9Edge.png
So they make money by potential customers guessing at what they can provide them and reaching out to them? Seems like a terrible way to do business.
Unless I missed it (which would be easy; damn is it hard to get to the content on that site) I see no information about anything other than what they do internally. Which is cool but that's about where it ends.
As it is, I kind of get the idea...sort of. Something about satellites, imagery, real-time somethingerother. There's complaining about weird scrolling and "broke my back button", which many of us tire of, and then's there's "hi! Didn't know if you noticed, but your site's broken on the most commonly-used browsers, broken to the point that many cannot read what I'm sure is absolutely awesome content." In other words, had this been a marketing page for something people don't give two shites about, the column that holds the abandonment rate in their analytics DB would have to use a float lest the tiny, tiny percentage of people who didn't immediately close the browser tab be recorded as "zero".
So I'll take your word for it when you say it's awesome. Currently, I am not equipped to confirm that with Mac OS X and Safari or Chrome.
How can I know if I can't read the content? I'm not exaggerating - simply not usable.
If you like satellite images and some interesting analysis, I suggest checking out Nasa's earth observatory.
Let's comment anything, but upvote things about Terra Bella and it's potential applications, because there's no website that would please everybody.
It's basically "adding satellite" to geo-mapping technology to "address real-time demand and analysis".
It's all good if they keep this shit near the mining/farming/ports, etc.
However, this being Google (Big Brother), you can expect that they'd try using this for "traffic analysis" (cause Waze is not enough) and then slowly encroach into your neighbourhood, so that when they finally launch their blimps, you can look at the sky and you will see the ads that your browser blocked.
Granted though, if Google isn't/wasn't going to do this, somebody else probably will (or already is).
As for who gets to see what, there are extremely stringent rules set by many of these governments; even within government organizations themselves, there is huge variation in access constraints.
It is one impressive gold mine. IIRC the power station for the mine site is almost 30% of the entire countries existing prodution capacity.
When, after the long loading delay, a globe appeared, I thought I'd be able to manipulate and view the globe. No such luck; it's just a static-appearing site.
And yes, these companies also track mining fields and what not, they just don't pretend it's some charity thing.
My questions: How does it make my life better. What can I do with this service, that I couldn't do before.
As others mentioned, the website is difficult to understand (for me at least)
"As proud as we are to have played a leading role in developing satellite technologies, we have realized that our vision extends far beyond boxes in the sky. As Google revolutionized search for the online world, we have set our eyes on pioneering the search for patterns of change in the physical world. In order to focus firmly on the future, we’re pursuing that vision under a new name – Terra Bella."
I bet all of you are crashing because of the webgl stuff.
I can honestly say Skybox had an extremely usable site previously. This is downright horrible.
To me it feels similar to invasion of space.
Web devs. I guess it's like an accomplishment for them to create sth. like this (tho I didn't see it, just what I saw from the comments, if it's laggy on a recent macbook, I don't bother). In this context I think it is a bit like high-fructose corn syrup: The whole thing seems superfluous, what would I be able to do if I could watch a volcano eruption? Throw water from a plane? Tweet #stoplavaviolence? What benefit would I, or any construction companies would have from watching that particular gold mine? If I have a business there, I'd probably know what's going on, and I'd try to make acquaintances to get information directly, instead of trying to get it out of some pixels. If a video from high up was needed for an humanitarian situation, a helicopter can go up and take the video. All this stupidity should be marketed, and the website is the confectioner's sugar for the crap called Terra Bella. Terra bella, coeptum superfluus.
Clicks ("Next Observation") take me down and then up where I was; then scrolling is jumpy and extremely annoying to read
Wonder how someone can possibly ship a website where the scrolling is so broken.
However, navigating the page is confusing as hell, I stumbled through it by using the little arrows on my scrollbar. Everything else would catapult me to seemingly random positions on the page. Seems to me they hijacked scrolling to make "one line down" "one section down".
Not going to lie, after fighting with the scrolling, I closed the page and came here to look for an explanation what this is all about - not going to click any links there.
You just have to scroll harder. Seriously. Every time it got stuck for me I just tried scrolling faster and after a few swipes it would move on.