Design Options for the Terra 3D Globe Image

Rudolf Husar

The preferred way to comment on these design options is directly on the web using the Forum page. I can also be reached at or 314 935 6099



A poster is being designed for the new NASA Terra Program. David Herring, Michael King and others have expressed interest in a 3D globe image similar to the one used for the 20x10 foot NASA EOS exhibit backdrop, the EOSDIS wall poster and a number of other places. However, it was the consensus of the group that the 3D Globe image has been over-used and it should be changed for the next round.

The original image was designed to be a graphic/symbolic response to the statement in the (old) MPTE brochure:

The key scientific challenge of MPTE: how do the Earth's land, water, air, and life interact to produce the environment in which we live?

The original image has four satellite-derived global data layers superimposed.

  1. Land - SeaWiFS
  2. Aerosol over the oceans - AVHRR
  3. Biomass hotspots - AHVRR
  4. Clouds - GOES, Meteosat, GMS5

The purpose of this effort now is (1) record the design process on this web-page to serve as 'organisational memory'; (2) foster further design suggestions and feedback from the 'community' (3) learn to use the web as a medium for open communication and consensus building

In terms of implementation we can change Lat/Lon/Height position of the eye as well as the content of the data layers. Below are some options to start the discussion. The rendering below is in coarse resolution (800x800 pixels). The full resolution image(s) will be at 4000x4000 pixels. Click on the images for a larger (800x800) version.

Position of the Eye


The eye is 100,000 km from the Earth at 10 deg. North latitude. The longitudes are -60,-20,20,60 and 100


Ocean Color replacing the Oceanic Aerosol Layer

Here I used the 1997 SeaWiFS-derived Ocean Biosphere image to cover the ocean surface. After all, the oceans are not made of aerosols…

Sea Surface Temperature

Here, the ocean surface is covered by the El-Nino sea surface temperature field. A large, high-resolution version (15 MB TIFF or 2.5 MB JPG) of this image is also available.

Cloud Density

In the symbolic globe image, the cloud cover was significantly reduced in order to have more of the Earth surface visible. I cut out some low clouds (with high IR temperature). Without cloud thinning, not much of the Earth is visible - see what I mean by 'symbolic' image?.


These are two cloud cover densities. Previously I used the left (thin) cloud density.

Looking forward for your comments on the Forum page. (You need to self-register on the People page first.)