Visualization Theater

With all of the data being generated on the world ocean, water-ways, water supplies and climate, the use of visually engaging, 3D rendered and animated presentations provide a fun and engaging alternative to the more traditional graphing of information used in the past. W2O's Visualization Theater offers links to innovative and fascinating ways to look at, actively engage in, and interpret data and ocean events. The use of the links found here, both online and in the classroom, has potential to transform the way...

This video from NASA is a compelling 26-second animation depicting how temperatures around the globe have warmed since 1880. The data come from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, which monitors global surface temperatures. As NASA notes, “in this animation, reds indicate temperatures higher than the average during a baseline period of 1951-1980, while blues indicate lower temperatures than the baseline average.”


The goal of the research presented here is to estimate and visualize the global impacts humans are having on the ocean's ecosystems. The cumulative impact map can be viewed in Google Earth or as an interactive feature by visiting the companion website.


How much water is in America’s rivers, and where is it? Perhaps unsurprisingly, people have little sense of how their local water resources compare in size to others. 'Is that a big river? A little river?” Now, thanks to the Pacific Institute, it is possible to visualize the nation’s water resources in different ways.

What did your town look like on a global map 540 million years ago? How about 90 million years ago? Or during the Jurassic period? This fantastic interactive map by Ancient Earth allows you to enter an address and track the location of the geological change occurring since before the Pre-Cambrian period.

For perspective on climate and weather changes since the late 1800s, plot map and time series from climate reanalysis models; view daily station data from the Global Historical Climatology Network; visit the Climate Change Institute's Climate Reanalyzer for a daily-updated Global Weather overview; see animations of current global 7-day and U.S. Regional 48-hour weather forecasts. The Climate Change Institute is affiliated with the University of Maine System, Orono, Maine.

Information from the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) provides real-time data from offshore IOOS buoys, acting as an early warning system for shellfish hatcheries. They are our eyes on the ocean, coasts and Great Lakes. These data signal the approach of cold, acidified seawater one to two days before it arrives in sensitive coastal waters where larvae are cultivated. IOOS is an integrated network of people and technology gathering observing data and developing tracking and predictive tools to benefit the economy, the environment, and public safety at home, across the nation, and around the globe.

Earth : : Null School
A global map of wind, weather and ocean conditions

Visualizing Marine Geology and Geophysics: Explore the ocean's features with animated dives and colorful bathymetric and topographical maps.

Use this web-mapping tool to visualize community-level impacts from coastal flooding or sea level rise (up to 10 feet above average high tides.) Learn about data and methods through documentation; share maps; view photo simulations of how future flooding might impact local landmarks; find data related to water depth, connectivity, flood frequency, socio-economic vulnerability, wetland loss and migration, and mapping confidence.

Earth's oceans are the greatest influence on global climate. Only from space can we observe the vast ocean on a global scale and monitor critical changes in ocean currents and heat storage.


(Google animates 315 years of ocean data)
The International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set (ICOADS) is the most complete collection of surface marine data in existence, consisting of a digital database of 261 million weather observations made by ships, weather ships, and weather buoys spanning the years 1662 to 2007. These data have now been animated by Google Maps developers Paul Saxman and Brendan Kenny in a stunning visualization.

Watch the world change over the course of nearly three decades of satellite photography. Of all the cosmic bodies studied in the long history of astronomy and space travel, the one that got the least attention was Earth. That changed when NASA created the Landsat program, a series of satellites that would perpetually orbit our planet, looking not out but down. Pictured: Iceland's northern coast resembles a tiger's head complete with stripes of orange, black, and white. The tiger's mouth is the Eyjafjorour fjord that juts into the mainland between steep mountains.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has a fantastic interactive map of American rivers. Click any river or stream and it will highlight the entire length of it, from the source to the mouth along with its tributaries. Follow the water.

Streamer is a great way to visualize and understand water flow across America. With Streamer, users can explore our Nation's major streams by tracing upstream to the source or downstream to where they empty. Streamer can also create reports about specific stream traces and the places they pass through.

This COSEE NOW community blog offers a compilation of some of the top sites on ocean, climate, and environmental data and science with excellent visual displays of data. This image represents the gradient of sea surface temperature (SST) at each point, and is based off of a 7-day composite of SST collected by the AVHRR instrument on NOAA’s polar orbiting satellites.

Public opinion about global warming is an important influence on policy and political decision making to reduce global warming and to prepare for climate impacts. The Yale Program on Climate Communication team of scientists has developed a geographic and statistical model to downscale national public opinion results to the state, congressional district, and county levels. These visualizations estimate public opinion across the country and offer a rich picture of the diversity of Americans’ beliefs, attitudes, and policy support. Maps are based on data through the year 2016.