A new view of the world has been provided by Google and the source code is available for developers to include in their own projects.
Google is very keen on HTML5 especially if it shows Chrome off to good advantage. The latest experiment or demo is interesting for many reasons. It is an HTML5 WebGL based animation of a 3D globe showing the volume of searches made in different languages. The data is gathered over a single day and different colors represent each language. To see the globe in action you will need an HTML5 capable browser that supports WebGL such as the latest Chrome or Firefox but not the latest IE9, of course, as Microsoft doesn't support WebGL.
It is very easy to see the shape of Europe and the US, say, but it is also easy to see that Africa is almost completely missing.
As well as providing a very convincing display of WebGL in action the code has been open sourced. The same basic code can be used to show your own data and as well as the Google search example there is also a global population plot which shows how it can be used.
The code supports
- Latitude / longitude data spikes
- Color gradients, based on data value or type
- Mouse wheel to zoom
and the team is planning to add more features. They are also keen to see any globe plots you produce and invite you to send them along.