February 18, 2006

Google Earth supporting scientific research enabling users to view slices of atmospheric data

From the popular journal, Nature, an interesting article on how biologists are using Google Earth to support their efforts. Of particular interest, this piece shows a nice use of Google Earth to view a "slice" of atmospheric data in a virtual Globe environment. Next month, biologist Erik Born will be wielding a crossbow and firing satellite tags into the hides of walruses, having maneuvered his rubber dinghy through the pack ice off western Greenland. By tagging the walruses, Born will be able to track the animals' movements and behavior from afar over several years. He will keep an eye on them using the same free Internet tool that has opened the eyes of millions to the possibilities of digital geography (and the sight of their house from above) — the Google Earth virtual globe... of interest is this quote found deep in the article... "Google Earth has no analytic functions and is not designed to replace professional GIS software; in fact, it should be a boon to the software makers. "Google Earth is just the most fantastic thing I have ever seen," says Jack Dangermond"... very true and akin to the old saying, let the buyer beware... thus, Google Earth definitely has secured a place in the geospatial workflow process, however, it's not a solution to replace existing technologies, rather, it's a complement. Used wisely google earth is extending the reach of GIS in areas that until now have not felt the benefits of GIS. See the article at Nature http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v439/n7078/full/439776a.html

1 comment:

BA said...

Indeed, we are involved in a program called the Earth Restoration Project (ERP), funded in part of the UNEP, and they have asked for Google Earth Free to be the data visualization tool of choice.