Augmenting the Research Value of Geospatial Data using Google Earth

Aijun Chen, Gregory Leptoukh, Steven Kempler, Denis Nadeau, and Xiaoping Zhang

In order to augment the research and public outreach value of NASA Earth Science data, the Goddard Earth Science Data and Information Center (GES DISC) uses Google Earth as one of its geospatial visualization methods. Google Earth supports both two-dimensional flat data and three-dimensional data which include the vertical dimension in the atmosphere. Possible general solutions to visualizing these kinds of scientific data are proposed and illustrated in details. Several results derived from the GES-DISC Interactive Online Visualization ANd aNalysis Infrastructure (Giovanni) have been rendered in Google Earth. A new method is proposed here using vertical satellite data to render vertical orbit curtains in Google Earth. This capability improves awareness of NASA scientific data among Google Earth users, including the general public. The availability of multiple scientific results in Google Earth enables easy and convenient synergistic research on a virtual platform, advancing collaborative and globalized scientific research.