webGlobe - NASA WorldWind Europa Challenge

Project website to showcase capabilities of the webGlobe project

Project maintained by chandola Hosted on GitHub Pages — Theme by mattgraham

Understanding Impact of Climate Change on Urban Areas

NASA Web World Wind (and its predecessor, World Wind JAVA), holds immense promise for climate and weather researchers. However, native Web World Wind does not support the NetCDF format, the most widely used format for storing such scientific data sets. Such data sets tend to be massive, which means that importing the raw data into the browser is not an option. Often, users need insights from the data, which entails applying analytical tools to such data sets.

The webGlobe project combines the rich capabilities of Web World Wind with the NetCDF data access capabilities of iGlobe. Just like Web World Wind, webGlobe runs on all major operating systems, desktop and mobile devices, and web browsers. The video below demonstrates how webGlobe allows access and visualization of remotely available NetCDF data. However, the key capability of webGlobe is under the hood. To allow visualization and analysis of a wide variety of geospatial data sets, webGlobe has a decoupled client-server architecture (See Figure below).

The objective of this demo is to show how one can use webGlobe to understand the impact of climate change on urban areas. One way to pose this question is - what regions of this world will the climate of my city (e.g., Helsinki) resemble in future? Will the climate stay the same (status quo), appear similar to regions in the north (global cooling), or appear similar to regions in the south (global warming)? Clearly, getting such insights needs both data, computing, and visualization capabilities. webGlobe is an integrated system that allows:

  • pulling in climate forecast and reanalysis (historical) data, which is scattered across repositories all over the world.
  • visualizing data (and eventual analysis results) on the 3D globe
  • running complex analysis on the data by leveraging a cloud based server architecture

Justin Zwick (Columbia), Arun Sharma (UB)
Varun Chandola (UB)
Source Code
Youtube Demonstration