December 11, 2008

Experimental representation of HPWREN activities in Google Earth

To demonstrate some of the scope of HPWREN and its use via project partners, an attempt was made to map some of the activities via multiple approaches into geographical information via the kml format which Google Earth utilizes. While this proof-of-concept article is focused on network applications and the scope of its cyberinfrastructure, this could also eventually include geographically mapped network performance data.

Please note that the locations are approximate-only, most are rounded to two digits after the decimal point, and they are not guaranteed to be accurate. This also may collapse multiple entities in fairly close proximity into a singular location.

Also, to try the examples below, it is highly recommended to use a new version of Google Earth and turning off other layers.

http://anr.ucsd.edu/Viz/KML/cameras.kml shows locations of network cameras connected via HPWREN. The specific example used here shows the 4-camera 360 degree view around Lyons Peak, while importing real-time images. Clicking on the individual small images will provide the originally sized version at 1600x1200 pixels.

http://anr.ucsd.edu/Viz/KML/SMER-Gorge.kml takes a different approach by mapping a river gorge camera at the SDSU Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve as a photograph projected onto something resembling a canvas in the landscape. While the projection of this and other images in this article is not entirely accurate, it allows for somewhat of a comparison between the archived image base which Google Earth provides, and real-time photos.

While http://anr.ucsd.edu/Viz/KML/LP-pan.kml projects all four real-time cameras (clickable under "Places"), the example shown here only uses the south-pointing one, with the image rendered somewhat transparent via the slider under "Places."

The images of the ten and twelve megapixel NPS Cabrillo National Monument cameras at http://anr.ucsd.edu/Viz/KML/CNMVCSD.kml are generated once per hour. They are, however, so large, that it is not realistic to display them as single images (like in the previous example). Instead, an automated process creates about 340 image components per photo, after new ones arrive, so they can be used as an image pyramid in Google Earth. This allows for fast loading and fast zooming in the viewer.

The non-real-time http://anr.ucsd.edu/Viz/KML/MPOpan.kml takes the image pyramid further by using 2,749 component images for the large canvas the photo collage is projected upon. This was created from the static images taken up on the water tower at the Palomar Observatory. The April 12, 2008 entry at http://hpwren.ucsd.edu/iotw-2008.html provides access to the original almost 44 megapixel version.

http://anr.ucsd.edu/Viz/KML/met-sensors.kml provides access to real-time meteorological sensor data. The example shown displays data from a Vaisala WXT520 sensor on Lyons Peak, that utilizes a kml file, which is updated once per minute. Bubbles from the other sensors typically refer to real-time data on a web site.

http://anr.ucsd.edu/Viz/KML/acoustics-sensors.kml maps HPWREN acoustics sensors described in http://hpwren.ucsd.edu/news/20081002/ to actual locations. Also imported into the bubble is the last time-over-frequency Fast Fourier Transform "thumbnail" image.

An experimental means to show raw seismic sensor data as FFT thumbnails is available at http://anr.ucsd.edu/Viz/KML/seismic.kml, while using raw Z-axis data from a subset of the UCSD/SIO ANZA seismic stations that is being distributed via multicast on HPWREN. This is more of an attempt to show data use beyond seismic information, as generated by the highly sensitive instrumentation, and displays the last 20 minutes prior to generating the graphic.

While not directly part of the HPWREN network, http://anr.ucsd.edu/Viz/KML/SAMO-kittymap.kml is based on data provided by an National Park Service collaborator to show, as an image overlay, roam areas of mountain lions in the Santa Monica NPS area.

http://anr.ucsd.edu/Viz/KML/hpwren.kml tries to illustrate the topological scope of HPWREN, showing its more that 200 mile west-east extend. Also included are collaborator sites that utilize the HPWREN network.

After turning on View->Sidebar in Google Earth, clicking on "HPWREN" will create a display showing the color and line codes for http://anr.ucsd.edu/Viz/KML/hpwren.kml.

The above shows a closeup of an HPWREN backbone site in http://anr.ucsd.edu/Viz/KML/hpwren.kml, and also illustrates how access to cameras and other sensors is being facilitated.

Closeup of the Palomar Observatory site, and how via a bubble an overview photo and access to relevant web sites can be made available.

Closeup of Point Loma, with the NPS Cabrillo National Monument tidepools on the left, and a Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System site highlighted by a bubble.

Main HPWREN web site (includes information for acknowledgments/disclaimers and feedback/contact)