Cutting Edge > Spatial Thinking > Visualizations


This is a collection of visualizations of spatial phenomena or data, including a few visualization-based teaching activities. Search the collection to find visualizations you can use in your classes.

To find a visualization that meets your needs, try

  • Typing keywords into the search box below
  • Refining your search by clicking on the links in the boxes on the right hand side of this page. For example, to see visualizations related to structural geology, click on "Geology" and then on "Structural Geology." You can also limit your search by type of visualization (for example, "Maps"). If you want to see only maps related to structural geology, use both sets of boxes to limit your search returns. That is, click on "Maps" and "Geology," followed by "Structural Geology."


Results 1 - 20 of 50 matches

Analyzing the Antarctic Ozone Hole
LuAnn Dahlman
DATA: Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) Images. TOOLS: ImageJ, Spreadsheet. SUMMARY: Animate and explore 10 years of Southern Hemisphere ozone images. Then measure and graph the area of the ozone hole over time.

Detecting El NiƱo in Sea Surface Temperature Data
David Smith, GLOBE; Betsy Youngman
DATA: Sea Surface Temperature (SST). TOOL: My World GIS. SUMMARY: Examine 15 years of SST data from the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory. Create and analyze average SST maps to identify El Nino and La Nina events.

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
Learn more about this review process.

Shrinking Forest - Growing Problem
DATA: Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Images. TOOL: ImageJ. SUMMARY: Process and measure time-series SAR images to analyze the rate of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. Produce a color composite image showing the oldest to most recently deforested areas.

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
Learn more about this review process.

Using NASA NEO and ImageJ to Explore the Role of Snow Cover in Shaping Climate
DATA: NASA Satellite Images. TOOLS: ImageJ and Image Composite Explorer (ICE) of NASA Earth Observations (NEO). SUMMARY: Explore and animate satellite images of reflected short wave radiation, snow cover, and land surface temperature downloaded. Then observe, graph, and analyze the relationship between these three variables.

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
Learn more about this review process.

Using Satellite Images to Understand Earth's Atmosphere
DATA: NASA Satellite Images. TOOLS: ImageJ and Image Composite Explorer (ICE) of NASA Earth Observations (NEO). SUMMARY: Use ImageJ to create an animation showing the change in monthly concentration of aerosols over the course of a year and compare it to a similar animation showing change in carbon monoxide concentration. Then use NEO ICE to create histograms and scatter plots, investigating the relationship between aerosol concentration and carbon monoxide concentration.

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
Learn more about this review process.

Annotating Change in Satellite Images
LuAnn Dahlman
DATA: Landsat Images. TOOL: ImageJ. SUMMARY: Examine time-series images that show landuse changes in China. Produce a map documenting how human activities have changed the coastline.

Exploring Seafloor Topography
Sandra Swenson
DATA: Digital Elevation Model Data. TOOL: GeoMapApp. SUMMARY: Explore a timeline about how we have learned about the oceans. Construct a profile across the Atlantic Ocean and create 3-D visualizations of the seafloor.

Investigating Earthquakes with ArcVoyager GIS
Carla McAuliffe; David Smith, GLOBE; Joseph Kerski
DATA: Recent and Historical Earthquake Data TOOL: ArcVoyager Special Edition GIS - Explore earthquake data and import them into a Geographic Information System (GIS). Analyze the data to predict where the next big earthquake will occur.

Measuring Distance and Area in Satellite Images
LuAnn Dahlman
DATA: MODIS Imagery. TOOL: ImageJ. SUMMARY: Examine images of the Aral Sea from 1973 through 2003. Use image analysis software to measure changes in the width and area of the freshwater lake over time.

When is Dinner Served? Predicting the Spring Phytoplankton Bloom in the Gulf of Maine
Denise Blaha; Amy Holt Cline, University of New Hampshire-Main Campus
DATA: Ocean Buoy Data, MODIS Images TOOLS: GoMOOS Online Graphing Tool - Learn about conditions that influence the spring phytoplankton bloom. Use an online graphing tool to predict the date of the bloom.

Annotating Change in Satellite Images
Rebecca Teed, Wright State University-Main Campus
During this exercise, students compare a series of satellite images taken 3-4 years apart to investigate the effects of human land use and annotate the images using ImageJ software. -

World Population
This starting point example compiled by R.M. MacKay. utilizes the MyWorld (more info) Geographic Information System (GIS) software created at Norhtwestern University.
Access and visualize world population data using the user friendly MyWorld GIS software. Data includes total population, population density, projected population, male and female population, and age specific population, etc.

Exploring and Animating GOES Images
Nick Haddad
DATA: GOES Weather Images. TOOL: ImageJ. SUMMARY: Transform a time series of GOES images into an animation. Plot a storm track and determine storm speed.

How Cities Affect Their Local Climate
DATA: GLOBE Program Surface Temperature. TOOL: My World GIS. SUMMARY: Explore the urban heat island effect using student collected surface temperature data. Subset large datasets, buffer others, examine spatial relationships, and gather statistics to investigate temperature differences in urban and rural school sites.

Water Availability
DATA: North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR). TOOL: FieldScope GIS. SUMMARY: Use an online GIS from the National Geographic Society, to investigate the relationship between precipitation, evaporation, and surface runoff.

Protecting Wetlands from Exurban Development
DATA: Land Use and Land Cover TOOL: My World GIS SUMMARY: Examine land-use changes around Macclenny, Florida. Propose locations for future development that minimize impacts on wetlands.

Evidence for Plate Tectonics
David Smith, GLOBE; Franklin Kao; Missy Holzer
DATA: Sea Floor Age, Volcano and Earthquake Distributions. TOOL: My World GIS. SUMMARY: Identify relationships among sea-floor age, earthquakes, and volcanoes to understand how they support the theory of plate tectonics.

What is GIS?

The Guide to Geographic Information Systems
This site presents an overview of modern GIS (geographic information systems), how these systems work, and how they are used. The site includes a geography network and a map book gallery, and is most ...

Africa's Imperiled Rock Art Documented Before it Disappears

David Braun
This National Geographic article discusses the importance of ancient African rock art and the threats these ancient works face. There is also a link to a book of images compiled by photographer David ...

Geographic Analysis Tool for Health & Environmental Research

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Geographic Analysis Tool for Health and Environmental Research (GATHER) is an online spatial data access system that provides members of the public health community and general public access to ...

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