The world at one's fingertips: interactive interpretation of environmental data
Blower, J., Haines, K. and Gemmell, A. (2013) The world at one's fingertips: interactive interpretation of environmental data. In: Atkinson, M., Baxter, R., Brezany, P., Corcho, O., Galea, M., van Hemert, J., Parsons, M. and Snelling, D. (eds.) The DATA bonanza: improving knowledge discovery for science, engineering and business. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, pp. 395-416. ISBN 9781118398647
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1002/9781118540343.ch19
This chapter introduces the latest practices and technologies in the interactive interpretation of environmental data. With environmental data becoming ever larger, more diverse and more complex, there is a need for a new generation of tools that provides new capabilities over and above those of the standard workhorses of science. These new tools aid the scientist in discovering interesting new features (and also problems) in large datasets by allowing the data to be explored interactively using simple, intuitive graphical tools. In this way, new discoveries are made that are commonly missed by automated batch data processing. This chapter discusses the characteristics of environmental science data, common current practice in data analysis and the supporting tools and infrastructure. New approaches are introduced and illustrated from the points of view of both the end user and the underlying technology. We conclude by speculating as to future developments in the field and what must be achieved to fulfil this vision.