Digital Earth 4D Viewer

The Digital Earth Viewer is an innovative data exploration tool developed in the Digital Earth project. A team of computer scientists and programmers works closely with scientists from the marine- and geosciences to create an intuitive and interactive exploration and analysis tool for geospatial time series data.

The viewer is inspired not only by existing scientific tools, but also by popular software like Google Earth and Microsoft WorldWide Telescope. Development of the viewer is undertaken as a series of prototypes developed under an agile project management regime. Each prototype is evaluated in the project to gather insight for the next iteration of development.



Internally, the viewer consists of a server component written in Rust, which provides chunked point- and raster data from a plethora of sources in many different formats, and a client application, which itself is written in Typescript and uses a custom WebGL frontend. Server-side caching is handled by an SQLite database while IndexedDB handles this task on the client-side. This approach allows for the viewer to be bundled in a single executable file and makes it possible to bring the viewer close to where the data is stored, without any complicated setup procedures. Using web technologies allows easily shared access to a server instance, without installing any additional software.

A current preview-version can be accessed at

As development progresses, binaries for the Windows and Linux operating systems will be provided. The plugin-based-project-structured means loaders for uncommon data formats or even custom visualizations can easily be added.



Jens Greinert GEOMAR, email: jgreinert(at)

Valentin Buck GEOMAR, email: vbuck(at)

Flemming Stäbler GEOMAR, email: fstaebler(at)