NASA Interactive Climate Time Machine

This website, which is powered by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, shows an interactive map that details how some of the key indicators of climate change have changed in Earth’s recent history. The webpage breaks down four different topics that can be used to visualize the effects of climate change. The four topics are sea ice, sea level, carbon dioxide and global temperature. Once a topic is selected, an interactive video is shown that details the shifts in these different topics over an extended period of time. For two of the topics, you have the ability to change what geographic region you view the data for.

Map of Life: Species Richness and Rarity Map

This website, the Map of Life (, has provided an interactive map that shows species richness and species rarity across the world, showing data on the biosphere. It using a spread of colors to symbolize the different values, with purple being the least rich or rare, and red being the most. The map has three different screens: one for richness, one for average rarity, and one for total rarity. Additionally, you can click between a map view and a satellite imagery view. The map allows you to zoom in and out to see variances between regions at a large and small scale. The map also allows you to pick groups of organisms, with categories such as vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants. Within these categories are subcategory to get more specific.

Here is an image of the map feature:


USGS Earthquake Map

The U.S. Geological Survey displays information relating to recent earthquake strikes around the world. The left side of the screen shows the recent earthquakes in the United States. It tells how many earthquakes have occurred in the map are over the last 24 hours. If you zoom out to the entire world, the panel adjusts to include earthquakes all over the world. On the map, each earthquake is represented by a circle with varying sizes and colors. The size of the circle represents the magnitude of the earthquake and the color represents the relative age of the earthquake. The plate boundaries are are outlined in red. Clicking on a specific earthquake takes you to another page that offers an interactive map, a regional information map, a seismicity map, and a shake map. Also, people can write up a felt report of their earthquake experience. Additionally, under settings tab, one can narrow or widen the earthquake parameters by size, time, and place.

This website is helpful for understanding where recent earthquakes struck and specific information about each earthquake. Earthquake map visualization helps to reveal patterns in earthquake behavior and helps educate others on the overall impact of earthquakes.

Volcano Discovery


Volcano Discovery is a website that provides information on all things related to the lithosphere. It is run by a team of geologists based in Europe, Indonesia and Hawaii who work closely with international scientists from volcanological institutes and observatories all over the world. Together they have written a book ‘Volcano Discoveries: A Photographic Journey Around the World’, which they use to promote the various tours to active volcanoes that they offer on Volcano Discovery. Tour locations include Stromboli and Mnt. Etna in Sicily. 

It has an entire area dedicated to educating people on the causes and effects of earthquakes and volcanoes. They have a forum for the public to upload their own videos and photos of earthquakes or volcanoes that they have come across.  A key feature of the site is its Interactive Global Map of Active Volcanoes and recent Earthquakes. It also provides a breakdown of each eruption and quake.





Polar Bears International

Polar Bears International is a website set up to help save the habitat of the polar bear, the sea ice that they call home. This includes the Arctic, Alaska, Russia, Greenland and Norway. The website’s method of doing this is focusing on climate change. They have many different suggestions on how to do this for people in many different positions; they look at how students and teachers can be leaders in the community for more green living. They look at what scientists, corporations and even small businesses can do to improve their greenhouse gas emissions.The website also has information on temperature trends, how the arctic is changing more specifically in terms of ice flows and the ecosystems overall. They make sure it is clear that there is no real debate on climate change anymore either, stating the common statistic that ninety seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate change is occurring and that it has Anthropogenic causes. This website is a great resource for information relating to climate on the arctic, and more specifically polar bears, as well as what to do to get involved and help be part of the solution.


GEOLOUNGE is an informational and interesting website. It has information about physical geography, human geography, maps, and more. Under the physical geography tab, they have tabs for biogeography and climatology. After learning about both biogeography and climatology in our class, I was intrigued by the different articles that I found. I wanted to share this article, “These Wolves in Minnesota are Very Very Territorial” that is posted on their site because it relates to our class. The article discusses how researches have used GPA collars to track the movements of 7 wolves at Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota. The data that was collected on the wolves locations is being used to understand pack boundaries and for the Project’s predation research. The screenshots I have included below show the travel paths for each of the wolves. The travel paths show how each pack adheres to territories with little overlap with other packs in the area. I thought GPS tracking of the wolves is an interesting concept and could be used to track more animals and possibly provide insights about animals travel habits which could be used to make better protected conservation areas. 

After reading this article, I clicked on a related link: “Using Remote Sensing for Mapping and Counting Animals.” This took me to GISLOUNGE, which is also another interesting and informational site, related to GOELOUNGE. 

The Living Land

ArcGIS Online has a public database of professional Storymaps on a variety of environmental and global issues. You can explore one series of storymaps titled “The Living Land,” on the distribution of human activities on the surface of the Earth. Chapter Two of this resource takes a special look at the distribution and impact of agriculture, animal husbandry, and farm land on the Earth.

Cropland mapThis storymap takes the user through the distribution as percentage of land, by regions of the world, density, and areas of highest production. It also describes how crops change the land and how each of humanities major crops (corn soy, rice, etc.) and major livestock (cows, chickens, goats, etc.) are grown around the world using aerial imagery. This storymap relies heavily on maps, as it should, to demonstrate these environmental and social issues. This includes simplified dot representation of the predominant crop in one area, to spinning globes with particular crops highlighted. This web application is a useful tool to demonstrate spatial distributions in a way that is easy to understand. It takes you through a whole system of human behavior around the world and its impacts on land (impact on pedosphere) depending on different practices.globe

Gapminder (Tools of the Geographer)

Gapminder is a helpful data-visualization website that enables you to analyze data trends spatially and temporally.

You can visualize a range of country data using a map, trend lines, or a ranking bar graph. For each option, you can watch an animation of change over time. The available data is broken down into categories such as economy, energy, environment, population, and society.

There are a many datasets embedded in the website that are very relevant to our discussions in class. One is water withdrawal (you can see it if you click on the map header and select environment > water > water withdrawal/person. I chose to compare South African and the United States over time (you can do this by pressing the play button on the bottom left corner of the data viewer). I was surprised to see how dramatically the USA has reduced its water consumption over time. This tool also helped me visualize the large gap between US water consumption and SA water consumption.

NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio (SVS) showcases a wide variety of NASA programs using striking images, animations, videos, and other visuals. By synthesizing complex scientific research and data with visual elements, the Scientific Visualization Studio creates a largely accessible platform to promote education and a broader scientific understanding of earth and space processes. The website has curated various galleries tied to specific NASA projects. These collections range from Air Quality to Astrophysics to Carbon and Climate projects. One of the featured collections is of ICESat-2, or the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2, which launched on September 15th, 2018. ICESat-2 is NASA’s most advanced laser satellite instrument (ATLAS) and will be used to monitor changes in height, depth, and mass of ice sheets and glaciers with extreme levels of precision to better understand and predict sea-level rise. ICESat-2 will also provide essential information about forest vegetation, ocean surfaces, and urbanization, among other applications. To explain what the ICESat-2 project is hoping to accomplish and how they have gotten to this point, the SVS with Goddard Media Studios has produced many videos that explore the importance of ice sheets, how the laster altimeter technology works, and even documenting the 470-mile research expedition in Antarctica that accompanied this project. This website, with its galleries of scientific information and mapping related to climate change, glacial melt and sea level rise, hurricane and storm impacts, stratospheric ozone depletion, and forest fire intensity and prevalence are all topics we have discussed in our class. Additionally, projects like ICESat-2 demonstrate how different remote sensing technologies are being implemented for environmental and geographic research purposes.


This website tracks present lightning strikes and includes a database of past lightning, using colored dots on a world map to show the locations of strikes. The map on the homepage updates almost in real-time, with a delay of only a second or two, allowing you to see lightning as it strikes in Europe, Oceania, or North America. You can also use the website to see past lightning strikes in each of the regions, and you can view this information either as still images or in animations that show the lightning throughout a given day. In addition to documenting the lightning strikes themselves, the website also keeps track of the density of strikes, or how many strikes are occurring in close proximity to each other, and information on the the number of strikes that have occurred within any month in 2011 or later and for each full year in 2011 or later is also available.

The content of this website relates to our course in that it allows for a visual representation of storm systems through the electrical charges they produce. For example, when I looked at the real-time animation, the enormous number of lightning strikes occurring in the Gulf of Mexico indicated there was probably a large storm or storm system in the Gulf at that time. Similar evidence suggested to me there probably was a storm occurring in far Southeastern Australia. This website, examined over a period of time, would allow for an increased understanding of the trends affecting the development of storms likely to produce lightning. Such storms may be from larger systems, such as midlatitude cyclones, or they could be the result of isolated convection patterns in areas such as beaches, cities, and cropland. Nevertheless, the representation of lightning overlaid on a map allows for an understanding of where lightning-producing events tend to occur, and in which locations larger storm systems are likely to cause lightning and in which locations it is more likely that an isolated event is the cause. Additionally, the graphs available on lightning patterns over a period of months or years provide the opportunity to observe any trends in lightning strikes that may take place over time and to determine in which parts of the year lightning tends to strike the most.