Redesigning For Research Accessible Data Interaction With Misr Fire Plumes

Fall 2018 Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU Fall 2018)

Data accessibility, or the ability to access, manipulate, and visualize data, is a critical component in exploratory scientific research. Studies relating to interactions between fire and climate particularly rely on data accessibility, as they often require data from many different sources. If accessing data is difficult, investigation becomes tedious and unattractive. To illustrate this issue and offer a case-study solution, we have redesigned the access and visualization interface for the NASA “MISR” Fire Plume dataset. This dataset, originating from NASA’s Terra satellite, provides a unique measure of fire plume height and location around the world. By performing an extensive interview process and incorporating principles of human-centered design, we were able to turn the previously-cumbersome MISR interface into an intuitive and accessible system. Our results indicate that such an approach encourages research and investigation, and could be used to increase the use of many overlooked datasets.