Week 12: Comparing Geospatial Tools

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Exploring Ocean Data with Google Earth

Olive_ridley_swim An olive ridley turtle swimming; Image Source: NOAA

One of the exciting features of Google Earth is the ability to embed images, links to Web pages, and even YouTube videos directly into placemarks that you pin to specific locations on Earth. As you explore ocean data, you'll have a chance to interact with these elements.

  • Click the links below to watch two video clips showing olive ridley turtles. These clips will open in a new window. Close each window when you have finished viewing the clip.
  • Swimming turtle

    Hatchling olive ridley tutles

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Download the Compressed File of NEO Images and Data About Ridley Turtles

  • Right-click (Win) or control-click (Mac) the link below to download the zipped file of data and images.
    RidleyTurtlesGE.zip (Zip Archive 24.5MB May7 10)
  • Unzip the file. A folder called RidleyTurtlesGE will be created.
  • Move the entire RidleyTurtlesGE folder to a place where you can easily locate it, such as in your Eyes in the Sky Week 12 folder.
  • This folder contains the same data that you explored on the ImageJ and GIS pages for this week, but in Google Earth format. The images were downloaded from the NASA NEO Web site.

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Launch Google Earth and Add Data Layers

  • Launch Google Earth by double-clicking its icon on your computer's desktop or by clicking its icon in the Start menu or launch bar (Win) or the dock (Mac).
  • Choose File > Open... and navigate to the RidleyTurtlesGE folder. Click once on Chloro_10_2008.KMZ to select the October 2008 chlorophyll concentration image. Then click Open. When you do this, the Google Earth globe rotates around so that (0 °, 0 °) is in the center of the view.
  • Choose File > Open..., select the SST_10_2008.KMZ image (October 2008 sea surface temperature), and click Open.
  • Choose File > Open..., select Ridley Turtles 2008.KMZ, and click Open. The Google Earth globe rotates to center the view on the extent of the Ridley Turtles dataset. Only one data point, a pink arrow, is visible.

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Explore the Olive Ridley Turtle Dataset Along with the NEO Images

  • When the Ridley Turtles 2008.KMZ file opens, the Google Earth globe rotates to center the view on the extent of the Ridley Turtles dataset. Only one data point, a pink arrow, is visible.
  • Look in the Temporary Places folder in the Places panel and, if necessary, expand the Ridley Turtles 2008 container and the Aug to Dec 2008 folder. Notice that only the Showdancer track is turned on. Turn on the four other turtle tracks (i.e. Buttercup, Carmen, Esperanza, and Gloria). In the upper left-hand corner of the 3D Viewer is a time slider. The two markers beneath the time line allow you to set the beginning and end of the time range of the data you would like to view. Currently, both are set together all the way to the left so that the timeline runs from August 2008 through August 2008.
  • Click and drag both markers and slide them all the way to the right. Then drag the left marker (the range marker) all the way to the left. The full range of sea turtle data is now displayed. Click the play button to animate the turtle tracks chronologically. You can also click and drag the right marker (the end marker) back and forth to view the turtle tracks moving forward or backward through time.
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Take a Screenshot of a Turtle Whose Path You Explore: This Is Your Weekly Assignment

Olive ridley turtles are omnivores; they eat algae, small fish, crabs, shrimp, rock lobsters, jellyfish, and tunicates. They are pelagic, which means they spend most of their lives swimming and foraging in deep water. Olive ridleys have been observed thousands of miles offshore. They can dive to depths of 500 feet to forage on benthic, or bottom dwelling invertebrates. However, these adaptable turtles can also be found swimming in water nearly 10,000 feet deep. Scientists who study how these animals move use satellite images showing sea surface temperature and chlorophyll concentration to look for indicators of their movement.
  • Uncheck the SST_10_2008.KMZ and Chloro_10_2008.KMZ layers to turn them on and off.
  • Choose File > Open... to select and open other monthly images. The RidleyTurtlesGE folder contains four months of sea surface temperature and chlorophyll images downloaded from NASA NEO.
  • Turn all but one of the sea turtle tracks off and explore the turtle's path against the images. Take a screenshot of your map. This is the screenshot that is needed for your required weekly activity.
    For example, this map shows the path that Esperanza took layered onto the October 2008 chlorophyll concentration.

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Add a YouTube Video to a Placemark

Next, you'll create a placemark and embed into it the YouTube video that you watched at the beginning of this page.

  • Select the Temporary Places folder by clicking once on it in the Places panel. Then click the Add Placemark button.
  • Into the Description field of the placemark, copy and paste the text between the two lines below.
  • Give the placemark a name, such as Hatchling Video Clip and click OK.
  • Click on the placemark to open it and view the video.
  • If you had difficulty creating the placemark, right-click (Win) or control-click (Mac) the link below to download a KMZ file containing the placemark with the YouTube video embedded in it.
    turtle_video_placemark.kmz (KMZ File 971bytes May8 10)
  • To clear out your Temporary Places, quit and restart Google Earth.
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Explore the Ocean Layer in Google Earth

  • Open up the container for the Ocean layer in Google Earth.
  • Turn on the Animal Tracking layer.
  • Explore the Animal Tracking layer.
  • Explore other layers of ocean data as interested.
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