Earth Science with Google at AGU 2019

Google Earth
Dec 9, 2019 · 3 min read

By Christiaan Adams, Senior Developer Advocate, Google Earth and Earth Outreach

Almost 100 years ago, the American Geophysical Union, or AGU, held its first meeting of 25 member scientists in Washington D.C. This week, at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco (December 9 to 13), there will be about 25,000 scientists. And just as we imagine the 25 founding members did back then, scientists and researchers will look forward to the opportunity to share what they’re working on with their peers, and learn about the latest in Earth and space sciences.

Flying into San Francisco’s Moscone Center, using Google Earth Studio.

AGU offers many thousands of talks, posters, and other scientific presentations throughout the week. We’re excited that over 180 of them specifically mention using Google tools, including our mapping products like Earth Engine and Google Earth to find, analyze and visualize their data or to communicate the story of their work.

Many of us Googlers will be joining in the meeting and learning as well this week. If you’re attending AGU, stop by the Google booth during the Icebreaker reception on Monday evening, or anytime during the week when the Exhibit Hall is open. We’ll have Googlers there to answer your questions about using Google Earth, Earth Engine, Earth Studio, and all the other Google tools leveraged by the scientific community. We’ll also have many talks at the booth to highlight some of the amazing science being done by our partners and other AGU attendees using these tools. In addition, we’ll offer workshops for people interested in learning to use Earth Engine.

Streetcar 2 Subduction, a (new digital) field guide

In 1979, the late Clyde A. Wahrhaftig, a professor at UC Berkeley, created Streetcar to Subduction, a quirky, personal field guide to sites of geological interest around San Francisco, all accessible via public transportation. Published by AGU in 1984, this guide has been much loved by attendees over the years, but became outdated as transportation options changed and sites have been impacted by development.

For this year’s meeting, McGill University professor Jamie Kirkpatrick, who first came across the guide during his postdoc studies at UC Santa Cruz, is introducing Streetcar 2 Subduction, a new guide for the digital age, using the creation tools in Google Earth. The guide is available as 7 individual stories in the Google Earth web and mobile apps. You can open each one via links on the “Streetcar trips” tab on the special AGU site, and navigate through each story using the buttons at the bottom of the screen. Some of our favorite trips include the Marin Headlands, Corona Heights, and Angel Island.

A view from the Marin Headlands story in Google Earth.

Whether you’re just starting out with Google Earth and Earth Engine or you’re an old hand, we’ll be available to help you get started, answer questions, and inspire your next mapping project. We’re very excited about helping AGU kick off its next 100 years. Join us in following #AGU19 on social, and do come by our booth to say hello. We’re looking forward to meeting you.

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