Note that this month we are meeting on a Tuesday instead of a Wednesday!

Please join us at the Boulder Outlook Hotel for a presentation and demo of:

NOAA Earth Information Services and TerraViz

Eric Hackathorn, Julien Lynge, Jeff Smith, TerraViz, NOAA

Jebb Stewart, Chris MacDermaid, NEIS, NOAA

The NOAA Earth Information Services (NEIS) is a framework of layered services designed to help the discovery, access, understanding, and visualization of data from the past, present, and future. It includes a visualization component named TerraViz that is a multi-platform tool, running on desktops, web browsers, and mobile devices. The goal is to ingest "big data" and convert that information into efficient formats for real-time visualization. Designed for a world where everything is in motion, NEIS and TerraViz allow fluid data integration and interaction across 4D time and space, providing a tool for everything NOAA does and the people NOAA affects.

TerraViz is built using the Unity game engine.  While a game engine may seem a strange choice for data visualizations, our philosophy is to take advantage of existing technology whenever possible.  Video games are a multibillion-dollar industry, and are quite simply the most powerful tools for pushing millions of points of data to the user in real-time. Our presentation illustrated displaying environmental data in TerraViz at a global scale, visualizing regional data in “scenes” such as the flooding of the Washington DC area or rotating a coastal ecosystem in three axes, and developing environmental simulations/games like exploring the ocean floor in a submarine.

The NEIS backend similarly takes lessons from private industry, using Apache Solr and other open source technologies to allow faceted search of NOAA data, much as sites like Amazon and Netflix do.

We believe that to have an impact on society, data should be easy to find, access, visualize, and understand.  NEIS simplifies and abstracts searching, connectivity, and different data formats, allowing users to concentrate on the data and science.

Please contact us if you want to explore including your environmental data within NEIS/TerraViz or if you want to talk to us about developing custom visualizations or educational simulations to showcase your important data.

NOAA / Earth System Research Lab / Global Systems Division, Boulder, Colorado

NEIS/TerraViz: NEIS/TerraViz


4:00 - 5:00 Presentation

5:00 - 6:00 Social

This month marks the two year anniversary of the BESSIG!   Please join us at the Boulder Outlook Hotel for a remote presentation: 

Chris Lynnes, Chief Systems Engineer of the Goddard DAAC, NASA, "The Earth Science Collaboratory"

The Earth Science Collaboratory is a proposed framework for supporting the sharing within the Earth science community of data, tools, analysis methods, and results, plus all the contextual knowledge that go with these artifacts.  The likely benefits include:

  • access to expert knowledge about how to work with data safely and efficiently
  • full reprocability of results
  • efficient collaboration within multi-disciplinary and/or geographically distributed teams
  • a social network to bring together researchers and data users with common interests

Currently, there are some nascent efforts to construct such a collaboratory.  However, by its very (inclusive) nature, this construction is likely to be most successful as an emergent process, evolving from many point-to-point connections to an eventual ecosystem of cooperating components supporting collaboration. 

In particular, we are actively seeking scientists and other potential users of such a collaboratory to provide an end user perspective of system functionality.   Would you find such a collaboratory helpful?   Do you have ideas about how it could be better?  Would you like to influence its design?  Those that are actively engaged will be heard and could end up with a tool that particularly suits their needs.   If this role interests you, please attend this talk and/or otherwise let us know of your interest.


4:00 - 5:00 Presentation

5:00 - 6:00 Social

Drop on by!

Post presentation material 

The slides for the talk are available here:ESC BESSIG slides.

The recorded version of the talk is available here.  Please note that the talk actually starts 21 minutes into the recording, as the first 15 minutes were intended to be for testing.  (Sorry, we had serious technical difficulties at the hotel!  It will be better next time!)