Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Sharing and visualizing environmental data using Virtual Globes

By Jonathan David Blower, Alastair Gemmell, Keith Haines, Peter Kirsch, Nathan Cunningham, Andrew Fleming and Roy Lowry


Virtual globe technology holds many exciting possibilities for environmental science. These easy-to-use, intuitive systems provide means for simultaneously visualizing four-dimensional environmental data from many different sources, enabling the generation of new hypotheses and driving greater understanding of the Earth system. Through the use of simple markup languages, scientists can publish and consume data in interoperable formats without the need for technical assistance. In this paper we give, with examples from our own work, a number of scientific uses for virtual globes, demonstrating their particular advantages. We explain how we have used Web Services to connect virtual globes with diverse data sources and enable more sophisticated usage such as data analysis and collaborative visualization. We also discuss the current limitations of the technology, with particular regard to the visualization of subsurface data and vertical sections

Topics: 577, 500
Year: 2007
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (1999). Adaptive Constraints for Feature Tracking,
  2. Delivering Environmental Web Services (DEWS)
  3. Forecasting Ocean Assimilation Model (FOAM),
  4. Geography Markup Language,
  5. (2007). Google Earth and other geobrowsing tools in the environmental sciences”, National Institute for Environmental e-Science,
  6. key authentication for HTTP,
  7. Keyhole Markup Language,
  8. NetCDF Climate and Forecast (CF) Metadata Conventions,
  9. Network Common Data Form,
  10. Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean (NEMO),
  11. Open Geospatial Consortium, doi
  12. Proof of concept: visualizing vertical data in Google Earth,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.