Understanding the universe requires assembling raw data into meaningful charts, maps, and more. To help our scientists — and other scientists and everyday people from all over the world — interpret the data returned by instruments both close to and far from Earth, APL develops tools capable of representing data in innovative ways.

The data tools developed by APL include a range of highly regarded software programs and applications, not the least of which is the Small Body Mapping Tool (SBMT). Rated by Oracle as one of the five greatest Java apps ever written, SBMT takes data supplied by spacecraft and renders 3D visualizations. The visualizations allow scientists to see the surfaces of irregular bodies like asteroids, comets, and small moons.

Tools and Applications