Dataset Resources Guide

< Return to BIO Curriculum Step 1: Observation and Discussion
< Return to BIO Curriculum Step 3: Data Sketches

Resources to be Used for Observation and Discussion (Step 1) and Data Sketches (Step 3)

NOAA Science On a Sphere
Global data animations from NOAA spanning topics from Climate to Ocean Currents, Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Population Density, Nighttime Lights and more. Many of these datasets are already captured in our Library of Mapped Data Images , so check there first.

Options for viewing:
•   SOS Explorer available as a free Windows download or a free mobile app
•  SOS Dataset Catalog

We suggest using this resource for the mapped data in Step 1 of BIO. You can display the dataset in high resolution, even show the flat map right in the application. In addition, your students can get SOS Explorer Mobile to look even deeper at the data on a tablet, phone or ChromeBook.

NOAA View Global Data Explorer
Global data animations of Earth Science data from satellites and models

Options for viewing:
•  On website with date and animation controls
•  Near real-time
•  Download frames of a data range with colorbars

We suggest using this resource for the Data Sketches portion of BIO. NOAA View is great for finding near-real-time data (usually up to a few days ago) and for downloading the image with colorbars. The only challenge is that you often get a transparent layer and will need to use a photo editing software to add the basemap, which is also included.

EPA EnviroAtlas Interactive Map
Fantastic place to go for localized maps of all sorts of data (pretty much only US)

NASA Earth Observations (NEO)
Global data animations of Earth Science data from satellites and models

Options for viewing:

Wind Map –
•  Real-time forecasts of wind PLUS!
•  A little hard to understand if not completely comfortable with atmospheric data
•  Good for VTS-inspired observation and discussion if comfortable with animation but careful not to use too many variables at once.

NASA WorldView
•  Use the snapshot icon to take a picture – Select entire globe.
•  Lots of good human interaction maps.

NASA Earth Observatory
The projection is slightly different but still good.

NASA Blue Marble Image Archive
Incredible high resolution images. Select the gallery you want, then look at the bottom of the page for download options. Some are gargantuan number of pixels..

Enerdata World Energy & Climate Statistics Yearbook 2022

Additional resources for symbology: and

Tutorial Videos

Dataset Hunting for VTS & Data Sketching (23:18)

Tutorial – Photo Editing – Layering images with Pixlr & colorbars with PowerPoint (14:08)