22 March 2006

Virtual globes: The web-wide world (google earth) -- Nature [clip]

Describes the huge impact that Google Earth is having on the science. Here's a letter I wrote on this:

I was very impressed with Declan Butler's recent article on the impact that Google Earth is having on the scientific community. I have found this program extremely exciting to use and exhilarating as far as viewing common locations. I would like to point out that the success of this program underscores the importance of open standards for data and having easy interoperation between information resources.
    To some degree, this same success has been achieved in the macromolecular structural world, where there are many programs giving people the ability to easily look at macromolecules in 3D and layer information on them.
    Clearly, a good visualization program and open "browsing" system can catalyze a lot of interesting science. I would like to urge the development of comparable
browsing applications for other newly emerging areas in the biological sciences -- in particular, for visualizing the vast landscape of the genome and for navigating through complex biological networks.

Nature articles by Declan Butler

Published online: 15 February 2006; | doi:10.1038/news060213-7
How does Google Earth work?
Short cuts bring the globe to your screen without crashing your computer.

Published online: 15 February 2006; | doi:10.1038/439776a
Virtual globes: The web-wide world
Life happens in three dimensions, so why doesn't science? Declan Butler discovers that online tools, led by the Google Earth virtual globe, are changing the way we interact with spatial data.

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