ESRL Global Systems Division

Science On a Sphere® - Now With a Mandarin Chinese Website

NOAA's Science On a Sphere® Program (SOS) now has the first Mandarin Chinese language Web site in the Global Systems Division (GSD), and also possibly at the Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) and within NOAA. SOS is currently of great interest in Mandarin Chinese speaking nations. Since common online tools used to perform translations between English and Mandarin did not provide clear descriptions for users, SOS developers worked to perfect and implement the Mandarin capability.

Since Chinese is the most used language in the world today with about 2½ times the number of first language speakers as English, it was imperative that the language used to navigate SOS be extended to Mandarin. Currently, the translation covers the top layers of the Web page, with the translation of deeper content still to come.

To view the SOS Mandarin Chinese website, go to the overall SOS website. In the upper left-hand corner, you should see the letters "ENG" for the English version and Mandarin Chinese characters for the Mandarin version. Click on the links to view the respective websites.

The translation from English to Mandarin Chinese for this project was performed by Aaron Wang, the Web interface was developed by Irfan Nadiadi, and the SOS Asian Program Manager is Dr. Fanthune Moeng. The SOS Program is administratively managed and technically supported by the Technology Outreach Branch of NOAA/ESRL/GSD.

SOS is a large visualization system that uses computers and video projectors to display animated data onto the outside of a sphere. It was invented by current ESRL Director Dr. Sandy MacDonald in 1995 when he came up with the concept for SOS as an outgrowth of other visualization projects that he was directing within the former Forecast Systems Laboratory.

Researchers at NOAA/ESRL continue to develop and advance SOS as an educational tool to help illustrate Earth system science to people of all ages. Animated images of atmospheric storms, climate change, and ocean temperature can be shown on the sphere, illustrating complex environmental processes in a way that is simultaneously intuitive and captivating. Using an iPad app, SOS presenters are able to effortlessly display, annotate, zoom, and layer the more than 450 data sets that are available for SOS.

SOS is a NOAA/ESRL program that has developed a revolutionary system for educating the public on the holistic nature of Earth's ever-changing oceans, atmosphere, and land. NOAA's global science is presented on SOS in new and exciting ways by providing engaging three-dimensional representations of our planet as if the viewers were looking at the Earth from outer space. Through informal educational programs in science centers, universities, and museums across the country and globally, NOAA's educational program goals are extended through SOS by increasing the public understanding of the environment and knowledge of the Earth's land, oceans, and atmosphere.

Contact information
Name: John P Schneider
Tel: 303-497-4646