My photo

Bill St. Arnaud is a consultant and research engineer who works with clients around the world on a variety of subjects such as next generation Internet networks and developing practical solutions to reduce CO2 emissions such as free broadband and dynamic charging of eVehicles. He is an author of many papers and articles on these topics and is a frequent guest speaker. For more details on my research interests see

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Citizen Science with Google Earth, mashups and web service for environmental applications

[Here is an excellent example of the power of mashups, web services using tools like Google Earth for environmental applications. Thanks to Richard Ackerman's blog--BSA]

Richard Ackermans Blog


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.