Windows on Earth

September 1st, 2005 - February 28th, 2011 | PROJECT

TERC will develop Earth Window, a visualization system for generating photo-realistic Earth images and fly-overs that offer a new method for earth science visualization designed for non-scientific audiences. Based on front-end research to determine a baseline of visitor knowledge and misconceptions, the project team will create the Earth Window Research Lab using the GeoFusion visualization engine and WorldSat "digital earth" remote sensing database. This prototype will undergo formative evaluation with visitors to explore a variety of interfaces, navigation systems, levels of interactivity and presentation formats, along with researching the roles of metaphor, user control, false color, authenticity and changes over time to determine how best to employ this technology in ways that maximize visitor learning. BROADER IMPACTS: Based on the outcomes of the formative research, TERC will refine the visualization technology and integrate it into different types of existing exhibits at four museums: Museum of Science (MA); Montshire Museum (VT); National Air and Space Museum (DC); St. Louis Science Center (MO). "Windows on Earth" will enable some 1.8 million people to benefit from remote Earth sensing datasets, allowing them to explore the planet in ways not otherwise possible and thereby improve understanding of key issues in Earth science and their connections to daily life. In addition, the project will develop, test and refine a new visualization tool that then can be replaced and applied by the science museum community at large.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

Windows on Earth: Summative Evaluation Report

Team Members

Daniel Barstow, Principal Investigator, TERC Inc
Marlene Cole, Co-Principal Investigator, TERC Inc


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 0515528
Funding Amount: 1780375


Audience: General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Geoscience and geography | Technology
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Games | Simulations | Interactives | Media and Technology | Museum and Science Center Exhibits