Geography 2.0: Virtual Globes

AAG2007 Virtual Globes Logo

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Just like last year, we are organizing a virtual globe session for the American Association of Geographers conference. Last year's session was very successful and we hope the 2007 version will match it. Here is the call for papers:

Call for Abstracts

"Virtual Globes: GIS for the Masses?"
Session ID: 3232

Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, April 17-21, 2007, San Francisco, California.


Josh Bader (bader(at), University of California, Santa Barbara
Alan Glennon (alan(at), University of California, Santa Barbara

Since the introduction of Google Earth in June 2005, the popularity of virtual globes software has exploded. Within a year of its launch, Google announced its globe software had reached 100 million installations. Other globe products also have experienced wide distribution, including 10 million installations of NASA’s open-source virtual globe World Wind. The scientific community has taken notice. Virtual globes made the cover of the February 15, 2006 issue of Nature accompanied by the title, “Mapping for the Masses.”

If virtual globes are indeed “GIS for the masses,” then their role within the discipline of geography deserves examination. This session invites speakers to discuss their work exploring the potential of these and associated internet-based geographic tools. Topics may include: Does the architecture of virtual globe software offer a viable path for a fully-functioning, analytical geographic information system? What insights does the geographic discipline offer in the further evolution of such software? How will issues such as data quality and uncertainty be dealt with in virtual globes? What effects will virtual globes have on geographic awareness, education, and decision-making? What is the future of virtual globes?

To present a paper in the session:

  1. Register and submit your abstract online (
  2. Email your presenter identification number (PIN), paper title, and abstract to Josh Bader (bader(at) by October 20, 2006