Utilizing Google Earth as a GIS platform for weather applications
Travis M. Smith, CIMMS/Univ. of Oklahoma and NOAA/NSSL, Norman, OK; and V. Lakshmanan
Google Earth (formerly known as Keyhole; http://earth.google.com) is a free application that streams high-resolution static satellite imagery and map overlays over a broadband internet connection to a 3D display on a user's desktop. Google Earth provides the user the ability to overlay images, icons, and polygons via Extensible Markup Language (XML) tags. These user-generated products may be shared over the internet and requested by Google Earth at specified intervals, which provides the ability to stream continuously updating real-time imagery. Because Google Earth is a free application that runs on inexpensive hardware, it provides an easy way to disseminate weather products to collaborators or end-users.
The National Severe Storms Laboratory has begun utilizing Google Earth as a way to share experimental severe weather products with other researchers and operational meteorologists for evaluation and feedback. A variety of multi-sensor severe weather products are generated by NSSL and shared to Google Earth users via the internet at http://wdssii.nssl.noaa.gov. These products include spatially gridded fields of Vertically Integrated Liquid, Maximum Expected Hail Size, tracks of circulations derived from Doppler velocity data, composite reflectivity, and 30-to-60 minute forecast reflectivity fields, among others. These products, which have a spatial resolution of approximately 1 km by 1 km, are generated every one or two minutes within the Warning Decision Support System – Integrated Information (WDSS-II). The WDSS-II system provides the images in GeoTIFF format which may be imported into most Geographic Information Systems software including Google Earth.
The presentation shows examples of products generated within the WDSS-II framework that are available for viewing in the Google Earth application, and demonstrates the process by which researchers can share their work with other Google Earth users via the internet.
Extended Abstract (352K)
Session 8, GIS Applications
Tuesday, 31 January 2006, 1:45 PM-5:30 PM, A412
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