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SolidEarth: a new Digital Earth system for the modeling and visualization of the whole Earth space

Zhu, Liangfeng, Sun, Jianzhong, Li, Changling, Zhang, Bing
Frontiers of earth science 2014 v.8 no.4 pp. 524-539
Earth system science, geospatial data processing, models
Although many of the first-generation Digital Earth systems have proven to be quite useful for the modeling and visualization of geospatial objects relevant to the Earth’s surface and near-surface, they were not designed for the purpose of modeling and application in geological or atmospheric space. There is a pressing need for a new Digital Earth system that can process geospatial information with full dimensionality. In this paper, we present a new Digital Earth system, termed SolidEarth, as an alternative virtual globe for the modeling and visualization of the whole Earth space including its surface, interior, and exterior space. SolidEarth consists of four functional components: modeling in geographical space, modeling in geological space, modeling in atmospheric space, and, integrated visualization and analysis. SolidEarth has a comprehensive treatment to the third spatial dimension and a series of sophisticated 3D spatial analysis functions. Therefore, it is well-suited to the volumetric representation and visual analysis of the inner/ outer spheres in Earth space. SolidEarth can be used in a number of fields such as geoscience research and education, the construction of Digital Earth applications, and other professional practices of Earth science.