Tool and Data


Note: This chapter was retired in October 2018. The visualization tool (My World GIS) is no longer supported.

My World GIS
My World GIS™ is a Geographic Information System (GIS) designed specifically for use in middle school through college classrooms. It was developed by the Geographic Data in Education (GEODE) Initiative at Northwestern University as part of a research program on the adaptation of scientific visualization and data analysis tools to support inquiry-based learning. 

My World GIS gives learners access to a variety of geographic data, enabling users to explore critical issues about the environment, geography, geology, demography, history, and much more. Its features include customizable display of layer variables, multiple geographic projections, table and map views of data, distance-measurement tools, and buffering and query operations.

Tool Builder

The Geographic Data in Education (GEODE) Initiative at Northwestern University with funding from the National Science Foundation.

Tool Cost

A free trial version is available for 45 days.

Tool Help

My World Online Help Center

My World Tool and Button Guides in pdf
The following guides can be downloaded to help with the use of the program:

Data Source

Weekly NCEP and Weekly Means of SST mean from the PMEL THREDDS server

This SST analysis is a product of the Environmental Modeling Center Climate Modeling Branch of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction. The data are provided in NetCDF format by the Climate Diagnostics Center.

The optimum interpolation (OI) sea surface temperature (SST) analysis is produced weekly on a one-degree grid. The analysis uses in situ and satellite SST's plus SST's simulated by sea-ice cover. Before the analysis is computed, the satellite data is adjusted for biases using the method of Reynolds (1988) and Reynolds and Marsico (1993). A description of the OI analysis can be found in Reynolds and Smith (1994).

The bias correction improves the large scale accuracy of the OI. Examples of the effect of recent corrections is given by Reynolds (1993). The bias correction does add a small amount of noise in time. Most of the noise can be eliminated by using a 1/4-1/2-1/4 binomial filter in time. We STRONGLY recommend that this filter be applied to the data fields before they are used. An improved method of correcting the biases is being developed.

For a complete description of the data as given by the providers and references for the papers cited in the description please see their information file: Provider information for the Reynolds SST datasets

Reynolds, R. W. and T. M. Smith, 1994: Improved global sea surface temperature analyses using optimum interpolation. J. Climate, 7, 929-948.