Home > Uncategorized > Tracking Hurricane Sandy in Google Earth (Google Earth Blog)

Tracking Hurricane Sandy in Google Earth (Google Earth Blog)

Google Earth Blog  is great, have to read it more.  It has this post about Tracking Hurricane Sandy in Google Earth,  done on October 26.  It includes the following screenshot showing satellite imagery of the storm.

What other platforms besides Google Earth present beautiful globe-simulating data visualizations like this?  For clients, end-users or visitors, presentation and ease-of-use, not the source data, are primary. Google Earth is strong in both areas.
I believe a satellite image-based globe simulation such as Google Earth (if it is accurate) is a more accurate model of the real world ( “representation of reality”)than any map projection.

Relevant but out-of-context and with a slightly different focus: here’s an excerpt from a recent post by ESRI Education Manager Joseph Kerski on the Spatial Reserves blog (has an accompanying video). :

One of the themes running through our book The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data is that maps are representations of reality.  While almost everyone reading this statement is likely to agree with it, in the fast-paced world that GIS analysis and creating maps has become, it is easy to lose sight of this fact when staring at tables, maps, and imagery.
…How many other data sets do we tend to see as having firm boundaries, when the boundaries are not really firm at all in reality?  How does that affect the decisions we make with them?  Even the boundary between wetlands and open water were originally interpreted based on land cover data or a satellite or aerial image.   As we state in the book, even contour lines were often interpreted originally from aerial stereo pairs.  And each data set was collected at a specific scale, with certain equipment and software, at a specific date, and within certain margins of error that the organization established.  Maps are representations of reality.  They are incredibly useful representations to be sure, but care needs to be taken when using this or any abstracted data.

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