File:20110613 rsimmon eyjafjallajokull visualization.pdf

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20110613_rsimmon_eyjafjallajokull_visualization.pdf(file size: 5.13 MB, MIME type: application/pdf)

Robert Simmon, NASA's Earth Observatory Visualization Case Study: Eyjafjallajökull Ash

Although data visualization is a powerful tool in Earth science, the resulting imagery is often complex and difficult to interpret for non-experts. Students, journalists, web site visitors, or museum attendees often have difficulty understanding some of the imagery scientists create, particularly false-color imagery and data-driven maps. Many visualizations are designed for data exploration or peer communication, and often follow discipline conventions or are constrained by software defaults. Different techniques are necessary for communication with a broad audience. Data visualization combines ideas from cognitive science, graphic design, and cartography, and applies them to the challenge of presenting data clearly. Visualizers at NASA's Earth Observatory web site (earthobservatory.nasa.gov) use these techniques to craft remote sensing imagery for interested but non-expert readers. Images range from natural-color satellite images and multivariate maps to illustrations of abstract concepts. I will use imagery of the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano as a case study, showing specific applications of general design techniques. By using color carefully (including contextual data), precisely aligning disparate data sets, and highlighting important features, we crafted an image that clearly conveys the complex vertical and horizontal distribution of airborne ash.

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current12:50, 13 June 2011 (5.13 MB)Kward (Talk | contribs)Robert Simmon, NASA's Earth Observatory Visualization Case Study: Eyjafjallajökull Ash Although data visualization is a powerful tool in Earth science, the resulting imagery is often complex and difficult to interpret for non-experts. Students, journali

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