NASA’s ‘Eyes on the Earth’ Puts the World at Your Fingertips

NASA’s real-time 3D visualization tool Eyes on the Earth got a recent upgrade to include more datasets, putting the world at your fingertips. Using the tool, you can track the planet’s vital signs — everything from carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide to sea level and soil moisture levels — as well as follow the fleet of Earth satellites providing those measurements.

Eyes on the Earth offers an engaging, interactive resource to learn more about environmental phenomena and their impacts.

For instance, to see measurements of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in a particular part of the globe, navigate to the Vital Signs menu and click the carbon dioxide button. Eyes on the Earth will show a visualization of data from NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2) satellite, which measures the gas from the ground to the top of the atmosphere. (To ensure the greatest accuracy, the mission reprocesses the data in the months prior to it appearing in Eyes.) Click “animate data,” specify a date range, and see how levels shift over time.

There are eight vital signs to choose from, with background information on the role each plays.

The newest version of Eyes on the Earth also provides snapshots of significant events in the natural world. For instance, you can see details about the maximum wind speeds of a tropical storm, the impacts of a northern California fire, even see the scale of a phytoplankton bloom off of New Zealand and why it matters.

The improvements also include upgrades for a more seamless user experience.

The graphics are as rich as the data, making for fascinating deep dives as you learn about the science, get to know the planet better, and learn about some of the many NASA missions that track the globe’s health. And while no downloads are required, the web-based application makes a great addition to any device with a browser and an internet connection including your smartphone.