Coders and Hackers Join Forces to Save NASA's Climate Change Data
lterrat's bookmarks 2017-02-19
"Over 200 university students, coders and hackers saved 25 gigabytes of climate change data. Why? Because it’s under threat of deletion. Students from the University of California Berkeley collected information from NASA’s Earth sciences program and the Department of Energy. They also created a notification network to let them know of future changes.
The students split into two groups. One half took on big-data projects and bagged that information by writing custom scripts to keep the data packages together. Another team used web crawlers to quickly duplicate simple government pages, quickly 'tagging' and filing the data to the Internet Archive.
One ethical hacker found difficulty in downloading precipitation data from the Goddard Space Flight Center. However, he managed to maneuver around the login by finding a link to the old FTP server. He collected all of 2016 and part of 2015 precipitation data.
It’s no secret that information has been discreetly removed from U.S. government websites in recent weeks. It’s common for new administrations to update websites with their new policies. They might even redesign the website slightly to make it more accessible to users.
However, as made clear on nearly every front both national and international, the Trump administration is far from common.
Shortly after taking office, people noted that important information started disappearing from the White House website."