Interactive web-based map: Applications to large data sets in the geosciences

Zachary A. Garbow, Nicholas R. Olson, David A Yuen, John M. Boggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Current advances in computer hardware, information technology and data collection techniques have produced very large data sets in a wide variety of scientific and engineering disciplines. We must harness this opportunity to visualize and extract useful information from geophysical and geological data. We have taken the task of data mining by implementing a map-like approach over a web server for interrogating the data, using a client-server paradigm. The spatial-data is mapped onto a two-dimensional grid from which the user (client) can quiz the data with the map-interface as a user extension. The data is stored on the server, while the computational gateway separating the client and the server can be the front-end of an electronic publication, electronic classroom, a survey, or an e-business. We have used a combination of Java, Java3D, and Perl for processing the data and communicating between the client and the server. The user can interrogate the geospatial data over any particular region with arbitrary dimensions and then receive back relevant statistical analysis, such as the histogram plots and local statistics. We have applied this method for the following data sets: (1.) distribution of prime numbers (2.) two-dimensional mantle convection (3.) three-dimensional mantle convection (4.) high-resolution satellite reflectance data over multiple wavelengths (5.) molecular dynamics describing the flow of blood in narrow vessels. Using the map-interface, one can actually interrogate this data over the Internet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalElectronic Geosciences
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001


  • Data
  • Geosciences map
  • Web


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