Visualization Programs

Sophisticated display technology is required to analyze and understand the massive quantities of meteorological data being produced by satellite and other data collection systems, and from simulations from 3-dimensional models. As part of NASA's public out reach activities, the availability of such data sets via the Internet and World Wide Web is being expanded. This section describes the role of staff in this regard.

Public Use of Remote Sensing Data

The Public Use of Remote Sensing Data (RSD) effort is composed of 20 projects funded by the NASA Information Infrastructure Technology and Applications (IITA) initiative, which establishes partnerships between government, private business and academia to promote the use of Earth and space science data over the Internet. Personnel play a key role in the management of the project. The activities supported in this project are largely based on World Wide Web (WWW) servers on the Internet. The progress of these activities can be followed by watching the RSD server at:




These projects support:

  • K-12 education
  • Life-long learning in museums, observatories, homes
  • Local/State governments
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Land-use planning
  • Resource management
  • Interactive TV

Examples of some of the applications available on the Internet through RSD are shown in Figure 18.

The GLOBE Program

Figure 19: An analysis of maximum temperatures over North America on 22 May 1996 from reports by student observers.Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) is a worldwide network of students, teachers, and scientists working together to study and understand the global environment. The GLOBE goals are to increase the environmental awareness of individuals throughout the world and to contribute to the better scientific understanding of the earth. GLOBE products will be used by science and school teams to validate their respective models and observations. Hence, key climatology parameters are reported daily by students world-wide. These parameters include maximum and minimum temperatures, precipitation, cloud clover, and soil moisture content. The role of the team, in collaboration with the Scientific Applications and Visualization Branch at Goddard, is to create daily visualizations of studend observations and reference data, then distribute those images via World Wide Web ( The team has applied WWW technology in innovative ways to develop a graphical user interface for international users of any age and native language. Locally, the staff has been working with the Prince Georges County (MD) school system and the Owens Science Center to bring GLOBE into the classroom. GLOBE will be enhanced to better serve the participating students and teachers. An example of the data available through the GLOBE program is shown in Figure 19 an analysis of maximum temperatures over North America on 22 May 1996 from reports by student observers. Visit the GLOBE homepage.