We have updated our virtual globes with the latest data from the New Horizons team. They are available as a .kml downloads for the Google Earth desktop application, and for viewing in your web browser using Cesium:
Thanks to the NASA New Horizons mission, we now have spectacular new surface imagery of Pluto. Click here to download a KMZ file that you can open in Google Earth. It contains the highest resolution surface imagery of Pluto from the New Horizons Flyby in 2015. Note that it is a ground overlay on Google Earth so the Google Earth ruler, terrain, atmosphere, water, sunlight, etc., should be turned off.
The image below links to a KMZ file (3.76 MB) that can be used as a basis for a Canadian Rockies virtual field experience (VFE). The VFE consists principally of embedded GigaPan imagery, but there are also some regular-resolution photographs and two geologic base maps, one for western Alberta, and one for eastern British Columbia. There are 85 total GigaPans in this trip, arranged in chronological order of principal themes.
Summary: The Canadian Rockies are a world-class example of a fold-and-thrust belt. The geologic story begins in the Neoproterozoic with sedimentary deposition that continued until the Cretaceous, with most exposed sedimentary rocks being Paleozoic in age. Notable in particular is the Cambrian section, which includes the soft-bodied fossils of the Burgess Shale. Deformation associated with the accretion of exotic terranes west of the Rocky Mountain Trench during the Laramide Orogeny folded, cleaved, and faulted these strata toward the Western Interior Seaway. During the Pleistocene, extensive glaciation sculpted the landscape into a classic suite of alpine glacial geomorphological features. Many glaciers still exist, and can be viewed from the excellent roadways of the Canadian national park system. Recently, episodes of catastrophic flooding have dramatically altered low-lying valley regions, especially in the Canmore and Evan Thomas area. All of these features can be seen in whole or in part using this VFE platform.
Here’s a video preview of the trip:
Questions, suggestions, critique, and comment should be directed to Callan Bentley.
Users are welcome to modify the VFE to suit their needs. If you develop any ancillary assignments or student worksheets, please share them here.
Kristen St. John, Caroline Robinson, Ben Suranovic, and Cari Rand, James Madison University; and Denise Bristol, Hillsborough Community College. Questions and suggestions on the exercise should be directed to Kristen St. John: email@example.com
Overview: This exercise uses empirical data and Google Earth to explore the surficial distribution of marine sediments in the modern ocean. Over 2500 sites are plotted with access to original data. We recommend first completing the Primer on Google Earth to become familiar with tools in Google Earth that are used in this exercise. The Exploring Marine Sediments in Google Earth exercise has four parts:
Stories from the Sea Floor – A Lesson on How Science Works
A First Look at Marine Sediments
Exploring the Distribution of Marine Sediment Types on the Sea Floor
Refining Your Hypotheses on Biogenic Marine Sediment Distributions
Audience: Intended for use in undergraduate Oceanography, Marine Geology, Paleoceanography, and Sedimentology Courses.
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI, http://www.whoi.edu/): North Atlantic data (global data to be added soon)
Curators of Marine and Lacustrine Geological Samples Consortium. The Index to Marine and Lacustrine Geological Samples (IMLGS). National Geophysical Data Center, NOAA. doi:10.7289/V5H41PB8 [October 15 2014]. (http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.7289/V5H41PB8.)
Development of this exercise is supported by the NSF-funded GEODE project.
The Northern Virginia Community College team has been busy adding new images to their online repository of geological GigaPans. As of August 1, 2014, their Mid-Atlantic Geo-Image Collection (M.A.G.I.C.) includes 754 total GigaPans of geologic imagery (620 billion pixels), with a total of just over half a million views, with an average of 483 views per image. Each GigaPan is a large (sometimes extremely large) image that users can explore on their computer screen, zooming in to see detail, or zooming out to see context. The user-driven exploration of GigaPans makes them a favorite medium for virtual field trips. Users are guaranteed to find something useful among these many images. For increased utility, we have tagged and organized them into several themes and sub-themes: by scale of image, by rock type (sedimentary, igneous, etc.), by place (West Texas, Wind River Canyon, Canadian Rockies, Blue Ridge, etc.), by time (Archean, Cambrian, Triassic, etc.), and by being relevant to one of our many themes (unconformities, stromatolites, primary sedimentary structures, etc.). The links below will take you to some of these themed sub-collections, dubbed “galleries” by GigaPan.
Here are a few examples of new MAGIC geo-imagery from the past two months:
Students Robin Rohrback-Schiavone, Alan Pitts, Sam Adler, Chris Johnson, and Joshua Benton contributed imagery and curatorial input to the collection. Jay Kaufman (University of Maryland), Aaron Barth (Oregon State University) and Dan Doctor (USGS Reston) contributed additional imagery.
If you have suggestions about other themes to emphasize, or sites to include, please contact NOVA PI Callan Bentley with your ideas: firstname.lastname@example.org.