Home' Position : Position Jun Jul 2015 Contents Upcoming Events
21 Jun 2015: Survey Earth in a Day
2015; international event, http://bit.
25 Jun 2015: Soil, Big Data and the
Future of Agriculture Conference;
Canberra, ACT. http://bit.ly/1FAzku2.
28 Jun - 1 Jul 2015: Pivotal
International Executive Summit;
Brisbane, Qld. http://pivotal2015.org.
14-16 Jul 2015: IGNSS 2015; Gold
Coast, Qld. http://ignss.org.
12-14 Aug 2015: 2015 AIMS
Conference; Perth, WA.
19 Aug 2015: GeoNext 2015/SSSI Vic.
Spatial Summit; Melbourne, Vic.
2-4 Sept 2015: Australian Esri User
Conference (Ozri); Melbourne, Vic.
7-11 Sept 2015: Photogrammetric
Week (PhoWo); Stuttgart, Germany.
15-17 Sept 2015: Intergeo; Stuttgart,
28 Sept - 3 Oct 2015: ISPRS
Geospatial Week; Montpellier, France.
19-23 Oct 2015: Asian Conference on
Remote Sensing; Manila, Philippines.
3-5 Nov 2015: Year in Infrastructure
2015 Conference; London, UK. http://
16-19 Nov 2015: Pacific Islands GIS\
RS User Conference; Suva, Fiji.
9-11 Dec 2015: International
Symposium on Mobile Mapping
Technology; Sydney, NSW.
A year in the life of Earth's CO2
Complex global phenomena
are easily misconstrued by
conventional mapping methods.
Plane world maps, such as the commonly
used Mercator projection, place undue
emphasis in certain areas, particularly
in the poles. Digital globes, such as
Google Earth, only depict one half of the
world at a time, restricting the ability
to comprehend phenomena that is both
global and dynamic.
The Cartography and Geovisualisation
Group at Oregon State University
decided to overcome this with its
adaptive composite map projection,
which permits accurate relative areas,
world-wide visualisation, and the
ability to focus the map on any latitude
or longitude by simply dragging and
zooming. The map above uses a modified
hammer projection with a bounding
parallel of 90˚, however, maps that allow
further zooming use a combination of up
to six different projections.
This approach becomes particularly
useful when coupled with video of global
phenomena, such as the video A year in
the life of earth's CO2. The visualisation
was created by scientists at NASA
Goddard Space Flight Centre's Global
Modelling and Assimilation Office by
a computer model called GEOS-5. The
visualisation is based on a 'Nature Run'
simulation that ingests real data on
atmospheric conditions and the emission
of greenhouse gases, and both natural
and man-made particulates. The model
then simulates the behaviour of Earth's
atmosphere based on winds, clouds,
water vapour and airborne particles
such as dust, black carbon, sea salt and
emissions from industry and volcanoes.
This particular model simulates
the circulations from January 2006
through December 2006, based on data
detected by ground-based sensors and
the Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2)
satellite. The simulation produced nearly
four petabytes (million billion bytes) of
data and required 75 days of dedicated
computation to complete, resulting
in a resolution about 64 times greater
than most global climate models. The
visualisation reveals the accumulation
of carbon dioxide during the northern
hemisphere's summer, as well as the
effect of local weather patterns, seasonal
changes in vegetation and localised
emission sources. According to NASA,
the growth in man-made localised
emissions is causing global average
temperatures to climb.
Originally depicted on a Mercator
projection, the video had a large
emphasis on the circulation of carbon
around the poles, and distracted users
from the activity occurring at localised
sites. The interactivity within a browser is
achieved using a WebGL API, and allows
users to drag the map in any direction,
zoom in and out, pause, fast forward or
rewind the video and toggle the narration
of NASA climate scientist Bill Putman.
The result- a map visualising complex
global phenomena uninfluenced by
distortion and supported by multimedia
and interactivity, such that it is easily
accessible and understood by all. For a
demonstration in your web browser, visit
Image: Visualisation of CO2 concentrations for 2 December 2006, embedded onto an adaptive
composite map projection. Red colouration indicates strong CO2 concentrations, while purple
swirls such as that over China indicate very high concentrations, most likely due to industrial
emissions. Credit: NASA, Cartography and Geovisualisation Group, OSU.
4 position June/July 2015
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