Presidential Forum
26th Conference on Interactive Information and Processing Systems (IIPS) for Meteorology, Oceanography, and Hydrology


Radar Integrated Display using Geospatial Elements Version 2 (RIDGE2) and Virtual Globes

Keith Stellman, NOAA/NWS, Peachtree City, GA; and P. Kirkwood, C. Pieper, J. E. Burks, B. P. Walawender, A. Sutula, and A. Murray

In September of 2007, NOAA signed an Enterprise License Agreement with Google* allowing all agencies within NOAA the use Google Map images for business purposes. In February 2009, the National Weather Service unveiled the alpha version of its next generation radar and warning display: Radar Integrated Display using Geospatial Elements version 2 (RIDGE2). The RIDGE2 takes full advantage of the vast amounts of mapping data compiled by Google through the use of an advanced openę\source mapping program called the OpenLayers application programming interface (API), which functions in much the same way as Google's mapping API featured on their Web site ĘC thus eliminating some of the learning curve for the audience. In addition to the new background map layers, the methods by which the radar and warning data are provided to the user have changed. In RIDGE2, the radar and warning data are sent to the OpenLayers API via a Web Mapping Service.

The most pronounced advantage of the methods by which Google serves its maps, and the RIDGE2 handles radar and warning data, is the amount of detail that can be served to the user's browser while minimizing the load on the Web servers that provide the data. The RIDGE 2 beta version initializes the user's browser with a nationwide mosaic of radar and warning data. Since the user initially views the data on a large scale, only low resolution data (and thus, smaller files) are sent to the user's browser. Upon request, the map can be zoomed and/or panned to anywhere in the nation, thereby viewing the data for that limited area at higher resolutions (with a minimum pixel size of 1 km for the radar data).

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Recorded presentation

Supplementary URL:

Joint Session 8, Virtual Globe technology and applications Part II
Thursday, 21 January 2010, 11:00 AM-11:45 AM, B218

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