TerraLook was previously known as the Protected Area Archive, or PAA. That name
reflects its origins, which lie in conservation, and the name was changed to
better represent the broad range of user disciplines that it supports. The
concept evolved out of discussions with Protected Area managers that began in
early 2002, when the obstacles to use by these managers became apparent. The
concept eventually led to a prototype being developed here at the NASA Jet
Propulsion Laboratory with support from the ASTER Science Team. That prototype
was demonstrated widely to obtain feedback, with the IUCN World Parks Congress
(Durban, South Africa, 2003) being a major source of advice from a large number
of park managers and conservation professionals. That led to an early version of
the Viewer/Toolkit which was released a year later, at the IUCN World
Conservation Congress (Bangkok, 2004), where additional feedback was obtained.
During this time the image collections were being generated on an informal basis
at JPL. The USGS National Center for Earth Resources Observation Science (EROS)
was then approached to discuss the possibility of their becoming the formal,
operational host of the system. Funding was obtained from NASA and USGS to do
this and work began on development of the formal, fully automated system. The
operational system went "live" on 5 February, 2007.
In the meantime a more advanced, and Open Source, version of the Viewer/Toolkit
software was being developed. The conservation NGO eCollage expressed an
interest in working on the development, and funding was found from a World Bank
sponsored project (the IABIN Connectivity Project) to do a proof-of-concept
pilot, and, later, the next version of the Viewer/Toolkit. Version 1.0 of this
software became available in February, 2007. Additional funds from a Gordon and
Betty Moore Foundation project (the Amazon Basin Protected Areas Network) will
support further development of this tool.
ASTER/JPL will continue to archive, and offer for download, the suite of
"standard" collections that it has previously created.