Visualization of the 1993-2007 CReSIS Greenland Data Sets for the Polar Grid High Performance Computing System

Team Members: Michael Austin, Frensha Slaughter, Shaketia McCoy
Team Mentor: Jeff Wood
Key Words: Data Visualization,Google Maps, Excel, PHP, JavaScript, CReSIS, Polar Grid

The Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) has been compiling Greenland ice sheet thickness data since 1993. The airborne program utilizes a 150 MHz radar echo sounder to measure the ice thickness. The data is currently available on the CReSIS web site in various formats including PDF, Matlab, and plain text files. These formats are not usable in the classroom environment as a visual representation of the ice depth for each expedition.

During the Undergraduate Research Experience in Ocean, Marine and Polar Science 2009 program, the Greenland Data Visualization Team took the CReSIS data and created a 4-D visualization consisting of depth, time, latitude, and longitude. This visualization was created utilizing HTML, JavaScript, and PHP. Microsoft Excel was used to filter the raw data downloaded from the CReSIS site. The team then statistically analyzed the Greenland ice sheet thickness data for calculated, missing, and actual depth readings. The goal of this project was to present the CReSIS data via the web in a visual format to elementary, undergraduate, and graduate students for research and education. This visualization package and corresponding data will eventually be migrated to the Elizabeth City State University Polar Grid High Performance Computing System. The research that follows involved converting plain text files to comma separated values to be used by PHP and JavaScript to produce data visualizations in Google Maps and HTML pages.