A new Chrome Experiment called the “WebGL Globe” is now launched. It’s a simple, open visualization platform for geographic data that runs in WebGL-enabled browsers like Google Chrome. The globe below shows world population:
And, another globe called “Search Globe” showing Google search traffic.
“Search Globe visualizes searches from one day, and shows the language of the majority of queries in an area in different colors. You’ll see a bright landscape of queries across Europe, and parts of Asia for instance, but unfortunately we see many fewer searches from parts of the world lacking Internet access–and often electricity as well–like Africa. We hope that as the Internet continues to become more accessible over time and people continue to ask questions, we’ll see this globe shine brightly everywhere,” Google informs.
The second challenge of the project was animating the globe — we wanted it to be fun for the user to manipulate. Thanks to WebGL, we’re able to display thousands of moving points at high frame rates by using the user’s graphics processing unit (GPU) for 3D computations,” Google explained.