NEO News

NEO Analysis in 10 Easy Steps

Would you like to explore satellite data yourself? The new NEO analysis tool provides an easy way to compare imagery online and this new blog series highlights different Earth science concepts by pairing an introductory video with an investigation of relevant satellite imagery found here. After you’ve learned the steps, you can try these examples for yourself:

ANALYSIS: PACIFIC LIFE – HOW IS IT RELATED TO OCEAN TEMPERATURE?

ANALYSIS: HOT IN THE CITY

ANALYSIS: REFLECTIONS ON THE BLUE PLANET

Here are the basic steps to follow. Try it now!

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Analysis Tool Development Update

I get plenty of email from users who are still trying to wrestle with the Java version of the analysis tool on the NEO website. (If you are one of those please consult our instructions, but also read on.) I get an equal number asking about the status of a replacement for the Java version.

So, an update is due: We are currently in the process of developing a replacement for the Java analysis tool. It will be 100% HTML/Javascript and will not require any plugins or other software aside from your modern browser. As of now I think I can safely say that it will be ready and deployed on the site in the early part of 2017. Once that is completed, the Java-based tool will be retired permanently.

Thank you all for your continued patience. This has been a long time coming.

Update, February 13, 2017: The new version analysis tool is in place on the site now and ready for testing. I have noticed a few quirks so we are working to address those, but in the meantime, please feel free to test it and let me know how it works for you.

Java and NEO Analysis

If you are a user of the analysis tool in NEO (also known as the Image Composite Explorer, or ICE), you may have noticed that after you installed the latest Java update (Java 7 Update 51) the analysis tool no longer works. Most likely you will see a pop-up error that looks like this:

Java security message

The reason you are seeing this message now is that Oracle has been implementing stricter security measures within Java (which is a good thing) and that means applications that used to work may no longer function. The preferred solution to this is for the application owner (that’s me) to purchase a digital certificate that authenticates the site and that will allow the analysis tool to run in your browser without requiring you to do anything else. However, we do not have that certificate implemented yet (I am working on that). So, in the short term, here is a way to work around this problem.

First, you must be able to access and adjust your Java security settings on your computer. For users who are using computers in a school or an organization that has centralized computer administration, this may be impossible. If that is the case, then there may be no way to get the analysis tool to work until we have the authentication certificate in place.

Locate your Java control panel.

Once the control panel opens, you will see five tabs across the top. When you click on the ‘Security’ tab you will see the following:

Java control panel

From here, click on “Edit Site List” in the lower right and another window will open:

Java add site exception

In this window, click on ‘Add’ and then you can enter the url for the NEO website — http://neo.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/ — this will give the necessary permissions to the NEO analysis tool so that it can run. Once you have entered the url you will also see a warning about running using HTTP. In this case, NEO is only available via HTTP so you can accept this warning.

After you have added the NEO URL, you may click ‘OK’ to complete the process.

Once you have completed all of these steps, the NEO analysis tool will work for you. You have only granted permissions to the NEO website itself, you have not reduced your security level for any other sites.

I will continue to work to resolve this issue with the certification process so that the above is no longer necessary. Until that time, however, you will need to enable the exception as documented above.

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