Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Google Maps for Science Communication

Here's a great demonstration of the potential of Google Maps for communicating science that I've just spotted on - in this case it's been adapted by the people at Global Warming Art to show the effect of climate change and rising sea levels on your house.

They've set themselves an ambitious goal:
"that the public and educators should have easy access to the same data and results that have framed the scientific discussion of global warming and climate change."
But of course as anyone who's read the thought provoking book "The Black Swan" by Nassim Nicholas Taleb will appreciate, any attempt at long term prediction like this is bound to be speculative and omit the potential of unexpected events.

To their credit the creators of these sea level maps say this right up front saying that people should "view these maps as rough estimations of how sea level rise may affect coastal areas and not rely on them too heavily". Still though, maybe we're not far off the point where people check maps like these before they buy property...

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