How Google Earth Is Changing Science

Posted on August 2, 2006  Comments (1)

How Google Earth Is Changing Science (broken link removed) by Manfred Dworschak:

Google Earth wasn’t really intended for scientists….
But now the scientific community is discovering how useful the software is for their own work.

With a single keystroke, biologist Born superimposes colored maps over the Arctic. The maps show him where the ice sheet is getting thinner and the direction in which the pieces of floating ice on which walruses like to catch a ride are drifting. All of the ice data, which comes from satellites and measuring buoys, is available on the Internet. By loading the data into the program, Born can detect how global warming is affecting the migratory behavior of his giant walruses.

The way simple to use tools will be used is hard to predict. By making tools (and ideas – open access research) readily available (and customizable – Google Map API) allows the community to build upon the tool in wonderful and unanticipated ways.

Tools, that may indeed be technically superior, may languish while simple to use, widely available, tools can flourish and create great benefits (from the network effect).

One Response to “How Google Earth Is Changing Science”

  1. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Ancient Crash, Epic Wave
    November 15th, 2006 @ 2:00 pm

    he explanation is obvious to some scientists. A large asteroid or comet, the kind that could kill a quarter of the world’s population, smashed into the Indian Ocean 4,800 years ago, producing a tsunami at least 600 feet high, about 13 times as big as the one that inundated Indonesia nearly two years ago…

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