Google Earth and other geobrowsing tools in the environmental sciences workshop

2-3rd April 2007

General information

This event is being co-hosted by Jon Blower, from the Reading eScience Centre.
The recent emergence of new "geobrowsing" technologies such as Google Earth, Google Maps and NASA WorldWind presents exciting possibilities for environmental science. These tools allow the visualization of geospatial data in a dynamic, interactive environment on the user's desktop or on the Web. They are low-cost, easy-to-use alternatives to the more traditional heavyweight Geographical Information Systems (GIS) software applications. Critically, it is very easy for non-specialists to incorporate their own data into these visualization engines, allowing for the very easy exchange of geographic information. This exchange is facilitated by the adoption of common data formats and services: this workshop will introduce these standards, focussing particularly on the Open Geospatial Consortium's Web Map Service and the KML data format used in Google Earth and other systems. A key capability of these systems is their ability to visualize simultaneously diverse data sources from different data providers, revealing new information and knowledge that would otherwise have been hidden. Such "mashups" have been the focus of much recent attention in many fields that relate to geospatial data: this workshop will aim to establish the true usefulness of these technologies in environmental science.

Workshop report

A report of the workshop is available here .

Who was the workshop aimed at?

Environmental scientists, environmental data providers, anyone who is interested in these technologies for communicating environmental science to a wider audience
No previous programming experience will be necessary for most of the workshop, although a minority of sessions will be aimed at participants with some knowledge of web programming (e.g. Javascript).



Day 1
10.00-10.30 Registration and coffee
10.30-10.40 Welcome and introduction to NIEeS. Martin Dove, NIEeS
10.40-10.50 Introduction to workshop. Jon Blower, ReSC
10.50-11.15 Google Earth / Google Maps. Jason Chuck and Matthew Trewhella, Google[zip]
11.15-11.40 NASA World Wind. Maurizio de Felice, Madmappers
11.40-12.05 ArcGIS Explorer. David Maguire, ESRI[ppt]
12.05-12.30 Introduction to OGC Standards. Martin Daly. Cadcorp Ltd [ppt]
12.30-13.30 Lunch
13.30-13.45 Google Earth as a volcanic hazards monitoring interface, John Bailey, Alaska Volcano Observatory [zip]
13.45-14.00 Data Centre applications for a tool like Google Earth, Roy Lowry, British Oceanographic Data Centre [ppt]
14.00-14.15 Google Earth: Enabling real time science in the Antarctic. Nathan Cunningham, Andy Fleming and Peter Kirsch, British Antarctic Survey[ppt]
14.15-14.30 ICEDS and ePEG: Virtual Planetary Observatories for OGC-compliant data visualisation and seamless data delivery. Jan-Peter Muller and Jeremy Morley, UCL
14.30-14.45 The delivery of real time data using Google Maps. Martin Poulton, Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory [ppt]
14.45-15.00 Dynamic 3-D visualisation in Google Earth of species records from NBN web services. Jonathan Cooper, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology [zip]
15.00-15.15 The TextGIS Platform for Geospatial Text Processing. Jochen Leidner, University of Edinburgh
15.15-15.45 Coffee
15.45-16.00 Driving Google Earth from Fortran. Toby White and Gen-Tao Chiang, NIEeS [pdf]
16.00-16.15 Web Mapping and mashups. Jon Blower, ReSC[ppt]
16.15-17.00 Panel discussion: the way forward, Chair: Keith Haines, ReSC
17.00-17.15 Wrap up and forward look at tomorrow's practicals. Jon Blower, ReSC
Day 2
09.00-10.30 Google Earth and Google Maps (hands-on practical). Jason Chuck, Matthew Trewhella (Google), John Bailey
10.30-11.00 Coffee
11.00-12.30 NASA World Wind (hands-on practical). Maurizio de Felice, Madmappers [zip]
12.30-13.30 Lunch
13.30-15.00 ArcGIS Explorer (hands-on practical). Rob Dunfey, ESRI
15.00-15.30 Coffee
15.30-15.50 Fortran/KML (practical/demo). Toby White, eMinerals and Gen-Tao Chiang, NIEeS
15.50-16.15 Web Mapping (practical/demo). Jon Blower, ReSC
16.15-16.40 ICEDS (demo). Jan-Peter Muller and Jeremy Morley, UCL
16.40-17.00 SPEAR (demo). Rory Hutson, Plymouth Marine Laboratory
17.00-17.10 Wrap up. Jon Blower, ReSC


This event is held at Cambridge University. The workshop, accommodation, and workshop dinners will all be held at Downing College, and the demonstrations in the Geography department.


It is anticipated that the workshop may generate interest in some follow-on activities. We will discuss the sort of follow-on activities that can be arranged, such as visits to NIEeS to demonstrate some of the escience/grid technologies and to provide help with installation and usage.

Registration of interest

Registration is now closed.

Confirmation of a place on this event will be sent via email on the 27th February.
Registration is free. Registration for UK academic participants includes all catering and the conference dinner.

The NIEeS will fund sensible UK travel expenses if necessary for you to attend.


Contact and further information

For information about registration, and all other types of queries, please contact the NIEeS office in the first instance.

This document last modified: Tuesday, 23-Oct-2007 08:12:53 BST