The WebGL Globe is an open platform for geographic data visualization. It was created by the Google Data Arts Team and is still in early development. Users are encouraged to copy the code, add their own data, and create their own globes. The user generated visualizations can then be featured on the project’s website. The WebGL Globe is able to display a JSON file. It requires latitude, longitude and the magnitude related with the location. It would certainly be interesting to visualize education related data with open data from the Worldbank, OECD and others.
The primary challenge of this project was figuring out how to draw several thousand 3D data spikes as quickly and smoothly as possible. For each data point, we generate a cube with five faces – the bottom face, which touches the globe, is removed to improve performance. (Google Code Blog)
WebGL Globe for Search Volume
Click on the button below for an interactive version of the globe visualizing search volume by language.
View Search Globe
WebGL Globe for World Population
Click on the button below for an interactive version of the globe visualising the world population in 1990, 1995 and 2000.
View Population Globe
Click on the button below for an interactive version of the emotiglobe visualising how the world is feeling right now. This globe’s algorithm is continiously reading Twitter’s live stream trying to find emoticons that reveal emotions.