Jump to this Simulation/Interactive »
NOAA View Data Exploration Tool

NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

This data viewing tool from NOAA offers nearly instant access to dozens of datasets about Earth through an engaging interface. Users can select data categories from atmosphere, ocean, land, cryosphere, and climate and drill down from there into more detailed categories.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Could be used as a tool for exploration of various global data and trends, or it could be used as a resource for teachers to focus in on one or two very specific trends.
  • Is largely a visual tool and detailed quantitative analysis (i.e. graphing) are not possible. That said, there is plenty of analysis that can be done from this tool. And it is engaging.
  • Great tool for exploring relationships among ocean, atmosphere, land, cryosphere, climate (e.g. precipitation and vegetation) if images are viewed side by side.
  • The ability to view the data over time could inform discussions of what might be driving those large scale trends (i.e. human impact vs. natural variability).
  • The interactive nature of the tool fosters genuine inquiry. Students can be let loose with the tool to see what patterns, trends, or hypotheses they can come up with.
  • Students could come up with a question, use the tool to answer it, and then challenge other students to see if they can find the answer to the same question. This instructional technique is described in the Physics Face Off activity.
  • Educator should encourage students to view the demo video before using the tool.
  • Some of the climate projections start in 2100 and the maps can look a little dire. Be alert for for students' psychological response to potentially depressing projections.
  • For lower grade levels, pair the tool with an appropriate grade-level activity.

About the Content

  • This is a stunning tool for showing large-scale, global trends in atmospheric, oceanic, or terrestrial data as either a snapshot or over time.
  • Over 50 datasets are available in the tool. Once the primary category has been selected, further options are presented to the user. In many cases the data is available over different time periods. The data can be historical, recent, near real-time, or projected. The time scale can be adjusted to show weeks, years, or customized time periods.
  • Allows for one global view (i.e. cannot rotate the image to show the North Pole) but can zoom in to locations.
  • Background information on each particular dataset is available via the "information" button.
  • Comments from expert scientist:
    Scientific strengths:
    Absolutely amazing, the educational objectives with this are limitless!
    - high resolution data
    - ability to go from metric to US
    - many options for data selection including ocean, atmosphere, land, climate, cryosphere, and climate models
    - ability to simulate precipitation, ocean/air temperature, and sea ice under different GHG emission scenarios

About the Pedagogy

  • The visual allows the learner to explore trends in various types of data.
  • The user-friendly, intuitive design of the tool will encourage student exploration.
  • This is a tool only. There are not accompanying learning materials.
  • Further research, explanation, and definition of the what the data means may be necessary.
  • Two-minute video tour explains the various options in displaying and downloading the images.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Excellent visual quality and high usability. Many users will find themselves immediately immersed in the data.
  • For each set of data selected, user can obtain background information, make screen captures, download the data, share the views, and change settings.
  • Capture and download data allows for offline viewing. Cannot download the source data from this tool.
  • Sometimes the tool gets "stuck" in one view and the page needs to be reloaded as a reset in order to view a different type of data. Similarly, sometimes it may be necessary to hit the tool's "back" button several times to return to the main menu.
  • Sound accompanying the demo video is close-captioned.
  • Users can subscribe to periodic updates of the data/tool.
Entered the Collection: June 2018 Last Reviewed: May 2015

Jump to this Simulation/Interactive »