Operational Monitoring of Volcanoes Using Keyhole Markup Language
Volcanoes are some of the most geologically powerful, dynamic, visually appealing structures on the Earth's landscape. Volcanic eruptions are hard to predict, difficult to quantify and impossible to prevent, making effective monitoring a difficult proposition. In Alaska, volcanoes are an intrinsic part of the culture, with over 100 volcanoes and volcanic fields that have been active in historic time monitored by the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO). Observations and research are performed using a suite of methods and tools in the fields of remote sensing, seismology, geodesy and geology, producing large volumes of geospatial data. Keyhole Markup Language (KML) offers a context in which these different, and in the past disparate, data can be displayed simultaneously. Dynamic links keep these data current, allowing it to be used in an operational capacity. KML is used to display information from the aviation color codes and activity alert levels for volcanoes to locations of thermal anomalies, earthquake locations and ash plume modeling. The dynamic refresh and time primitive are used to display volcano webcam and satellite image overlays in near real-time. In addition a virtual globe browser using KML, such as Google Earth, provides an interface to further information using the hyperlink, rich- text and flash-embedding abilities supported within object description balloons. By merging these data sets in an easy to use interface, a virtual globe browser provides a better tool for scientists and emergency managers alike to mitigate volcanic crises. http://ge.images.alaska.edu
Eruptions on A Virtual Globe: The Aster Volcano Archive
The systematic study of the world's most frequent volcanic activity is a compelling and productive arena for orbital remote sensing techniques, informing a range of investigations from basic volcanology to societal risk assessments. The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection radiometer (ASTER--a joint project of Japan and the United States), with its high spatial resolution (15, 30, 90m/pixel), multispectral character (0.52- 0.86μm; 1.6-2.4μm; 8.1-11.6μm), and stereophotogrammetric capability is in many ways an ideal imaging instrument for this task. Since launch in December 1999, an ASTER volcano target list of over 1500 volcanoes has yielded a (still growing) inventory of over 140,000 volcano views on over 70,000 individual ASTER day and night images. A significant emerging challenge for ASTER is how to effectively access a burgeoning data archive in a way that allows the survey, extraction, and distribution of important information in a timely way. This issue is particularly acute in general for ASTER, which has produced a multi-spectral, high spatial resolution, feature-specific targeted global data base of over 1 million image data granules worldwide. To promptly and efficiently access and manage voluminous volcano data within a large ASTER image library, and to house other ancillary correlative volcanological data from MISR, MODIS, EO-1 data sets, SRTM, and related in situ data, we have created a specialty domain called the JPL ASTER Volcano Archive (AVA: http://ava.jpl.nasa.gov). We will discuss and illustrate the myriad challenges and scientific opportunities that this unprecedentedly large, but accessible, global volcanological remote sensing data set represents in terms of data mining, data analysis, and data distribution to the scientific community, to disaster responders, the general public, and to educators, and will conduct a live AVA demonstration. This work was performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory-California Institute of Technology, under contract to NASA. http://asterweb.jpl.nasa.gov
Pict'Earth: A new Method of Virtual Globe Data Acquisition
Georeferenced aerial imagery facilitates and enhances Earth science investigations. The realized value of imagery as a tool is measured from the spatial, temporal and radiometric resolution of the imagery. Currently, there is an need for a system which facilitates the rapid acquisition and distribution of high-resolution aerial earth images of localized areas. The Pict'Earth group has developed an apparatus and software algorithms which facilitate such tasks. Hardware includes a small radio-controlled model airplane (RC UAV); Light smartphones with high resolution cameras (Nokia NSeries Devices); and a GPS connected to the smartphone via the bluetooth protocol, or GPS-equipped phone. Software includes python code which controls the functions of the smartphone and GPS to acquire data in-flight; Online Virtual Globe applications including Google Earth, AJAX/Web2.0 technologies and services; APIs and libraries for developers, all of which are based on open XML-based GIS data standards. This new process for acquisition and distribution of high-resolution aerial earth images includes the following stages: Perform Survey over area of interest (AOI) with the RC UAV (Mobile Liveprocessing). In real-time our software collects images from the smartphone camera and positional data (latitude, longitude, altitude and heading) from the GPS. The software then calculates the earth footprint (geoprint) of each image and creates KML files which incorporate the georeferenced images and tracks of UAV. Optionally, it is possible to send the data in- flight via SMS/MMS (text and multimedia messages), or cellular internet networks via FTP. In Post processing the images are filtered, transformed, and assembled into a orthorectified image mosaic. The final mosaic is then cut into tiles and uploaded as a user ready product to web servers in kml format for use in Virtual Globes and other GIS applications. The obtained images and resultant data have high spatial resolution, can be updated in near-real time (high temporal resolution), and provide current radiance values (which is important for seasonal work). The final mosaics can also be assembled into time-lapse sequences and presented temporally. The suggested solution is cost effective when compared to the alternative methods of acquiring similar imagery. The systems are compact, mobile, and do not require a substantial amount of auxiliary equipment. Ongoing development of the software makes it possible to adapt the technology to different platforms, smartphones, sensors, and types of data. The range of application of this technology potentially covers a large part of the spectrum of Earth sciences including the calibration and validation of high-resolution satellite-derived products. These systems are currently being used for monitoring of dynamic land and water surface processes, and can be used for reconnaissance when locating and establishing field measurement sites. http://pictearthusa.com/agu07/
World Wind: NASA's Virtual Globe
Virtual globes have set the standard for information exchange. Once you've experienced the visually rich and highly compelling nature of data delivered via virtual globes with their highly engaging context of 3D, it's hard to go back to a flat 2D world. Just as the sawbones of not-too-long-ago have given way to sophisticated surgical operating theater, today's medium for information exchange is just beginning to leap from the staid chalkboards and remote libraries to fingertip navigable 3D worlds. How we harness this technology to serve a world inundated with information will describe the quality of our future. Our instincts for discovery and entertainment urge us on. There's so much we could know if the world's knowledge was presented to us in its natural context. Virtual globes are almost magical in their ability to reveal natural wonders. Anyone flying along a chain of volcanoes, a mid-ocean ridge or deep ocean trench, while simultaneously seeing the different depths to the history of earthquakes in those areas, will be delighted to sense Earth's dynamic nature in a way that would otherwise take several paragraphs of "boring" text. The sophisticated concepts related to global climate change would be far more comprehensible when experienced via a virtual globe. There is a large universe of public and private geospatial data sets that virtual globes can bring to light. The benefit derived from access to this data within virtual globes represents a significant return on investment for government, industry, the general public, and especially in the realm of education. Data access remains a key issue. Just as the highway infrastructure allows unimpeded access from point A to point B, an open standards-based infrastructure for data access allows virtual globes to exchange data in the most efficient manner possible. This data can be either free or proprietary. The Open Geospatial Consortium is providing the leadership necessary for this open standards-based data access infrastructure. The open-source community plays a crucial role in advancing virtual globe technology. This world community identifies, tracks and resolves technical problems, suggests new features and source code modifications, and often provides high-resolution data sets and other types of user-generated content, all while extending the functionality of virtual globe technology. NASA World Wind is one example of open source virtual globe technology that provides the world with the ability to build any desired functionality and make any desired data accessible. http://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov
Sensor Webs in Digital Earth
The University of Alaska Southeast is currently implementing a sensor web identified as the SouthEast Alaska MOnitoring Network for Science, Telecommunications, Education, and Research (SEAMONSTER). From power systems and instrumentation through data management, visualization, education, and public outreach, SEAMONSTER is designed with modularity in mind. We are utilizing virtual earth infrastructures to enhance both sensor web management and data access. We will describe how the design philosophy of using open, modular components contributes to the exploration of different virtual earth environments. We will also describe the sensor web physical implementation and how the many components have corresponding virtual earth representations. This presentation will provide an example of the integration of sensor webs into a virtual earth. We suggest that IPY sensor networks and sensor webs may integrate into virtual earth systems and provide an IPY legacy easily accessible to both scientists and the public. SEAMONSTER utilizes geobrowsers for education and public outreach, sensor web management, data dissemination, and enabling collaboration. We generate near-real-time auto-updating geobrowser files of the data. In this presentation we will describe how we have implemented these technologies to date, the lessons learned, and our efforts towards greater OGC standard implementation. A major focus will be on demonstrating how geobrowsers have made this project possible. http://seamonsterak.com/
UNAVCO Software and Services for Visualization and Exploration of Geoscience Data
UNAVCO has been involved in visualization of geoscience data to support education and research for several years. An early and ongoing service is the Jules Verne Voyager, a web browser applet built on the GMT that displays any area on Earth, with many data set choices, including maps, satellite images, topography, geoid heights, sea-floor ages, strain rates, political boundaries, rivers and lakes, earthquake and volcano locations, focal mechanisms, stress axes, and observed and modeled plate motion and deformation velocity vectors from geodetic measurements around the world. As part of the GEON project, UNAVCO has developed the GEON IDV, a research-level, 4D (earth location, depth and/or altitude, and time), Java application for interactive display and analysis of geoscience data. The GEON IDV is designed to meet the challenge of investigating complex, multi-variate, time-varying, three-dimensional geoscience data anywhere on earth. The GEON IDV supports simultaneous displays of data sets from differing sources, with complete control over colors, time animation, map projection, map area, point of view, and vertical scale. The GEON IDV displays gridded and point data, images, GIS shape files, and several other types of data. The GEON IDV has symbols and displays for GPS velocity vectors, seismic tomography, earthquake focal mechanisms, earthquake locations with magnitude or depth, seismic ray paths in 3D, seismic anisotropy, convection model visualization, earth strain axes and strain field imagery, and high-resolution 3D topographic relief maps. Multiple data sources and display types may appear in one view. As an example of GEON IDV utility, it can display hypocenters under a volcano, a surface geology map of the volcano draped over 3D topographic relief, town locations and political boundaries, and real-time 3D weather radar clouds of volcanic ash in the atmosphere, with time animation. The GEON IDV can drive a GeoWall or other 3D stereo system. IDV output includes imagery, movies, and KML files for Google Earth use of IDV static images, where Google Earth can handle the display. The IDV can be scripted to create display images on user request or automatically on data arrival, offering the use of the IDV as a back end to support a data web site. We plan to extend the power of the IDV by accepting new data types and data services, such as GeoSciML. An active program of online and video training in GEON IDV use is planned. UNAVCO will support users who need assistance converting their data to the standard formats used by the GEON IDV. The UNAVCO Facility provides web-accessible support for Google Earth and Google Maps display of any of more than 9500 GPS stations and survey points, including metadata for each installation. UNAVCO provides corresponding Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) web services with the same data. UNAVCO's goal is to facilitate data access, interoperability, and efficient searches, exploration, and use of data by promoting web services, standards for GEON IDV data formats and metadata, and software able to simultaneously read and display multiple data sources, formats, and map locations or projections. Retention and propagation of semantics and metadata with observational and experimental values is essential for interoperability and understanding diverse data sources.
Historical Natural Hazards Data in Google Earth
The NOAA National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC), with assistance from the University of Colorado's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), maintains a database of information about historical natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. Long-term data from these events can be used to establish the past record of natural hazard event occurrences. These data are also important in disaster recovery, mitigation and response planning for future events. The database includes socioeconomic information (i.e. number of fatalities, injuries, and damage) and scientific data (i.e. earthquake magnitudes, tsunami intensity) for hazard events from ancient times (2000 BC and earlier) to the present. To supplement existing tools for extracting and visualizing the data (web-based forms and ArcIMS interactive maps), the data is now viewable in Google Earth via Keyhole Markup Language (KML). The historical natural hazards database includes several related datasets: significant earthquakes, tsunami source events, tsunami runups (locations where tsunami effects occurred), and significant volcanic eruptions. The related datasets are linked together: for example, the user can display information about a tsunami event that was triggered by a specific earthquake or volcanic eruption. The date range of displayed historical events can be controlled using Google Earth's time slider feature. Tsunami runup locations can be displayed for individual tsunami events or for all events collectively. The tsunami runup placemarks are extruded above the surface of the earth at a height proportional to the maximum wave height recorded at that location, allowing visual comparison of recorded tsunami wave heights. Using Google Earth as a tool for displaying historical natural hazards data enables a broader audience to discover and use the data, with an improved understanding of the geographic and temporal distribution of historical hazard events. http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/seg/hazard/hazards.shtml
Integrating Socioeconomic and Earth Science Data Using Geobrowsers and Web Services: A Demonstration
The societal benefit areas identified as the focus for the Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS) 10- year implementation plan are an indicator of the importance of integrating socioeconomic data with earth science data to support decision makers. To aid this integration, CIESIN is delivering its global and U.S. demographic data to commercial and open source Geobrowsers and providing open standards based services for data access. Currently, data on population distribution, poverty, and detailed census data for the U.S. are available for visualization and access in Google Earth, NASA World Wind, and a browser-based 2-dimensional mapping client. The mapping client allows for the creation of web map documents that pull together layers from distributed servers and can be saved and shared. Visualization tools with Geobrowsers, user-driven map creation and sharing via browser-based clients, and a prototype for characterizing populations at risk to predicted precipitation deficits will be demonstrated.
3D Globe Support for Arctic Science through the Arctic Research Mapping Application (ARMAP)
The Arctic Research Mapping Application (ARMAP) is a suite of online services to provide support of Arctic science. These services include: a text based online search utility, 2D Internet Map Server (IMS); 3D globes and Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Map Services (WMS). With special emphasis on the International Polar Year (IPY), ARMAP has a target audience of science planners, scientists, educators, and the general public. The Arctic Research Logistics Support Service (ARLSS) database is the foundation of ARMAP and includes information on US research funded by the National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the United States Geological Survey. Avoiding a duplication of effort has been a primary objective of the ARMAP project, which incorporates best practices (e.g. Spatial Data Infrastructure and OGC standard web services and metadata) and off the shelf technologies where appropriate. ARMAP services may be accessed via the gateway web site at http://www.armap.org. ARMAP's 3D globe services includes a layer users can download into Google Earth and a prototype ArcGIS Explorer (ESRI) application. A comparison of the strengths and weaknesses of the two virtual globe applications will be presented. http://www.armap.org
Climate Change in Google Earth
As a visualization tool for Earth Sciences data and imagery one big advantage of virtual globes is they give the user a tremendous amount of control over how the imagery is viewed. Features like zoom, orientation and tilt provide a great deal of flexibility for looking at the imagery in different ways. For the National Snow and Ice Data Center's entry into the Google Earth outreach gallery we chose data that would benefit from capabilities Google Earth provides. We looked for imagery that showed visually dramatic evidence of climate change. Included in the kmz are repeat photographs of glaciers in Alaska taken several decades apart, an animation of the last 29 years of the Arctic sea ice minimum, and an animation of the 2002 break-up of the Larsen B ice shelf in Antarctica. http://nsidc.org
Comparison of Virtual Globe Technologies for Depiction of Radar Beam Propagation Effects and Impacts
Virtual Globes (VGs) are quickly becoming the new paradigm in the Earth Sciences for education and outreach, logistics, and data access. VGs such as Google Earth, NASA WorldWind, ESRI ArcGIS Explorer, and many others are changing how science professionals and the public view and access geographic information, including observations and forecasts for applications in meteorology and climate, oceanography, and hydrology. This paper compares several current VG platforms for representation of weather radar beam elevation above the Earth surface. Effects and impacts addressed include beam occultation by terrain, potential interaction with wind power generators, and anomalous propagation.
Visualizing Large Datasets with LAS and Google Earth
As experiments and simulations in Earth System Science grow larger and more complex, dataset volumes are growing explosively. Web-based visualization and analysis of these datasets is becoming a challenge due to large amount of data and the limit of network bandwidth. The Live Access Server (LAS) is a highly configurable Web server designed to provide flexible access to visualization and analysis products generated from geo- referenced scientific datasets. In this presentation, we introduce a new capability of LAS for interactively visualizing large datasets by utilizing the view-based refresh queries of Google Earth and the automatic decimation ("striding") capabilities of Ferret. When viewing a high resolution dataset on a global scale it is wasteful of bandwidth to handle the full resolution data. With the striding capability, Ferret selects every nth point along an axis, where n is the striding value. The striding values are dynamically computed based upon the size of the area of interest. The automatic striding approach minimizes the volume of data that need be touched to visualize a large geographic area. Higher resolutions are utilized for smaller areas to reveal the fine structures. The LAS provides this behavior using Google Earth as the user interface. As users zoom or pan on Google Earth, Google Earth interacts with LAS through a Network Link, which contains the URL of a LAS server. When the view inside Google Earth stops for a set number of seconds, it makes a request to a LAS server, sending the LAS server the latitude and longitude boundaries (bounding box) of the area currently in view. The LAS server uses that information to compute stride values, instruct Ferret to generate a visualization for that particular geographic area, and send the resulting image back to Google Earth.
Dagik: A Quick Look System of the Geospace Data in KML format
Dagik (Daily Geospace data in KML) is a quick look plot sharing system using Google Earth as a data browser. It provides daily data lists that contain network links to the KML/KMZ files of various geospace data. KML is a markup language to display data on Google Earth, and KMZ is a compressed file of KML. Users can browse the KML/KMZ files with the following procedures: 1) download "dagik.kml" from Dagik homepage (http://www- step.kugi.kyoto-u.ac.jp/dagik/), and open it with Google Earth, 2) select date, 3) select data type to browse. Dagik is a collection of network links to KML/KMZ files. The daily Dagik files are available since 1957, though they contain only the geomagnetic index data in the early periods. There are three activities of Dagik. The first one is the generation of the daily data lists, the second is to provide several useful tools, such as observatory lists, and the third is to assist researchers to make KML/KMZ data plots. To make the plot browsing easy, there are three rules for Dagik plot format: 1) one file contains one UT day data, 2) use common plot panel size, 3) share the data list. There are three steps to join Dagik as a plot provider: 1) make KML/KMZ files of the data, 2) put the KML/KMZ files on Web, 3) notice Dagik group the URL address and description of the files. The KML/KMZ files will be included in Dagik data list. As of September 2007, quick looks of several geosphace data, such as GPS total electron content data, ionosonde data, magnetometer data, FUV imaging data by a satellite, ground-based airglow data, and satellite footprint data, are available. The system of Dagik is introduced in the presentation. http://www-step.kugi.kyoto- u.ac.jp/dagik/