Oceanographers and other scientists are using Google Earth in a new way to view real-time data streams on everything from ocean temperature and currents to the movement of ships — all at once.
Known as the Global Visualization Lab and developed by the University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, the technology is providing a completely new sense of the ocean.
The data come from a wide variety of sources — including satellites, autonomous underwater vehicles, and floating buoys. When viewed on the lab’s large flat panel TVs and navigated with a 3-D mouse, the Google Earth globe and any data illustrated on it are seen with such high resolution and great detail that viewing the image feels more like a high-flying helicopter ride.
Take a ride yourself, and hear the lab’s creator, UD oceanography professor Matt Oliver, explain the project.
Oliver is part of a larger cooperative effort between multiple institutions working on the project, including the Mid-Atlantic Regional Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association, Rutgers University, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. The endeavor is funded by NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Integrated Ocean Observing System, among others.
For more on UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, visit www.ceoe.udel.edu. For more about Delaware Sea Grant, visit www.deseagrant.org.