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Satellite Data Images

The following represents research that was published in two journals in 2010:

  • Phipps, M., and Rowe, S., (September, 2010). Seeing satellite data. People & Science, September, 2010: 23.
  • Phipps, M., and Rowe, S. (2010). Seeing satellite data. Public Understanding of Science (19)3: 311-321. 

The Magic PlanetAbstract: Complex scientific visualizations are becoming standard parts of many educational experiences, both in and out of schools. We found that satellite visualizations used by ocean scientists were difficult for teachers, students, and museum visitors to understand.

The research reported on here documents some of those difficulties and explores alternate visualizations that proved more robust for novice users of the data. Five different visualizations of two ocean properties as sensed by satellites are shown and their affordances and constraints for both scientists and novice users are discussed. We illustrate the importance of incorporating culturally meaningful color representations and measurement scales for designing education materials using satellite data.


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