World Challenge Finland 2018

Earth Energy Monitoring System Challenge

The Challenge

Earth Energy Monitoring System (E2MS) is a project whose aim is to dramatically improve people’s understanding for how Earth works and be able to tell stories with that understanding, specifically about how Earth energy flows. How do energy flows work? When and where do energy flows start or stop? What do they influence? How do these energy flows interact with each other and affect other Earth processes, such as conditions for life?

Visualizing these energy flows at a global scale is the key first step to revealing their story. Turning data into an interesting story is not always straightforward. Raw data in tables or numeric files might be useful for some people, but the general populace needs more. A well-conceived, easily understandable visualization is far more interpretive for storytelling. That is the mission of this challenge. We want teams to take global scale spatial data, interpret the energy flow aspect, and realize that data in a compelling visualization using the NASA World Wind platform. Visualizations can represent time frames in hours, days, years or millennia, for various geographic locations from regional to global.

For those teams with the time and capacity, we have a bigger challenge with bigger rewards. First, develop a second data set into visual energy flows and highlight points of interaction, influence or points of interest between the two visualizations. Second, develop an algorithm or set of algorithms designed to demonstrate the viability of the understanding the visualizations provide. Both paths are meant to explain more of the story beyond intuition of the human eye.

Visualizations, while incredibly important and powerful, are just the beginning, yet for this challenge, visualizations are the primary goal.

Here is an example data set of US Weather Balloon data.

More information about this data can be found at

Teams are encouraged to locate and use other data sets which represent an energy flow for or earth. Here are some visualizations as ideas for your project.

1. Hurricane energy flow

2. Air quality flows / prediction

3. Flows in ocean temperature

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