Climate Data at Your Fingertips


A web tool developed by SDSU researchers offers instant access to global climate data.

While Julien Pierret was conducting research for his Ph.D. in climate data, he was playing around with a web graphics library and looking for a reason to learn about it.

“I’m a child when it comes to exploring different tools and wanted to incorporate this into my Ph.D.,” he admitted.

His exploration eventually evolved into a web-based tool – four-dimensional visual delivery or 4DVD - that offers convenient, open access to climate data for regions across the world. Intended to be used for education and research, professionals and amateurs interested in climate science can search for and view data and visuals instantly with a few clicks.

When Pierret first came up with the idea, his advisor, San Diego State University distinguished professor and climate informatics expert Samuel Shen, was initially skeptical he could create multi-dimensional views of the globe that would also include every climate variable, from temperature and precipitation to wind, relative humidity and other factors.

“But when he presented a working prototype using JavaScript that could help search up different kinds of data, I was very impressed,” Shen said.

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Image via San Diego State University