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Visualizing Spatio-temporal War Casualty Data in Google Earth

Location: Ballroom III Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ****.
(4.25, 4 ratings)

Google Earth is a powerful platform for visualizing dense spatio-temporal datasets, especially when combined with story-telling features of KML touring. This talk will discuss Map the Fallen and some of the author’s forthcoming KML projects in the realm of data visualization.

Published on Memorial Day 2009, Map the Fallen is a Google Earth visualization of the 5500+ US and international soldiers that have died in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. In addition to providing photos, stories, and links for each solider, the time-animated map visually connects hometowns to places of death. This novel way of representing casualty data brings the geographic reach and magnitude of the issue into focus together with the very personal nature of individual stories. Innovative visualizations techniques were used that illustrate the spatio-temporal nature of this information and to show the global reach and interconnectivity of this issue.

This session will include demonstrations of cutting-edge KML visualizations, conceptual discussions of the techniques used, and some in-depth technical explanation of the KML required.

Photo of Sean Askay

Sean Askay

Google, Inc.

Sean Askay is a Developer Support Engineer on the Google Earth Outreach team, which aims to help non-profit organizations use mapping technology to further their missions.

Sean specializes in the innovative use of KML to create compelling content and has been a central force behind Google Earth’s Global Awareness layers. He is the creator of mapthefallen.org which maps 5500+ Iraq/Afghanistan solider casualties and hometowns. Sean also created the Apollo 11 tour for Moon in Google Earth, which was a groundbreaking using of the KML touring language.

Sean also develops and delivers training for Google’s mapping tools, including the 2008 trip to the Amazon and a 2009 trip to Africa working with indigenous and local communities on the use of mapping and internet technologies. Sean has a background in biology and environmental science and has worked on everything from visualization of wireless sensor networks to the study of ethnobotany and traditional agriculture in the South Pacific.

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Ben Lewis
04/01/2010 11:28pm PDT

very moving, very innovative use of GE