Space Images for NASA/JPL is an Apple iPhone application that allows the general public to access featured images from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). A back-end infrastructure stores, tracks, and retrieves space images from the JPL Photojournal Web server, and catalogs the information into a streamlined rating infrastructure.
This system consists of four distinguishing components: image repository, database, server-side logic, and iPhone application. The image repository contains images from various JPL flight projects. The database stores the image information as well as the user rating. The server-side logic retrieves the image information from the database and categorizes each image for display. The iPhone application is an interfacing delivery system that retrieves the image information from the server for each Apple iPhone user. Also created is a reporting and tracking system for charting and monitoring usage.
Unlike other iPhone image applications, this system uses the latest emerging technologies to produce image listings based directly on user input. This allows for countless combinations of images returned. The back-end infrastructure uses industry-standard coding and database methods, enabling future software improvement and technology updates. The flexibility of the system design framework permits multiple levels of display possibilities and provides integration capabilities.
Unique features of the software include image retrieval from a selected set of categories, image Web links that can be shared among e-mail users, and image metadata searchable for instant results (see figure).