Yamagishi et al. (2011), Visualization of geochemical data for rocks and sediments in Google Earth: Development of a data converter application for geochemical and isotopic data sets in database systems

Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. v. 12, Q03016. doi: dx.doi.org/10.1029/2010GC003490 

We have developed applications that allow display of various geoscience data in Google Earth. Our project aims to compile research results from different fields on the same virtual globe and to provide new cross-disciplinary information for understanding of the Earth's interior and dynamics. Google Earth uses Keyhole Markup Language (KML) files to import data. Our inventory of converters, which we call KML generators, makes KML files of seismic tomographic model data, geomagnetic field model data, and geochemical data of rock and sediment samples. A converter in the inventory, the geochemical and isotopic data one, accepts datasets for rock and sediment samples stored in several online database systems including PetDB, and in template data files that users themselves make. The data are plotted as three-dimensional bar graphs on the surface of the virtual Earth at the associate sampling site of the rock and sediment samples. The major element compositions of samples can also be displayed as a stacked bar graph. This type of visual presentation can directly show the distribution of isotopic or compositional anomalies of specific rock samples on the Earth's surface. Spatial scalability of Google Earth allows us to display the anomalies on a hemisphere-scale area and those on small geological scales with the generator. We provide a web application of the generator in a graphical user interface (GUI). With other KML generator, geochemical data can be overlaid on a seismic tomographic model. This overlay image can provide information on the origin of rock samples in the tomographic model and could play an important role in constructing a new structural model of the Earth's interior. The figure shows distribution of isotopic anomalies of Pb on the Indian Ocean. The red bar graphs show "Dupal anomaly"."

–Y. Yamagishi