ESRL Global Systems Division

Julien Lynge Honored with CIRES Outstanding Performance Service Award 2013

Julien Lynge is a CIRES Associate Scientist working in the Technology Outreach Branch of ESRL/Global Systems Division. His areas of expertise include video games, simulations, data visualizations, and virtual worlds. Julien works with scientists to make data easy to find, access, visualize, and understand. Julien is the lead developer on TerraViz, a highly creative and innovative graphical interface that may revolutionize the way scientists and others visualize massive physical data sets in real time.

The NOAA Earth Information Services (NEIS) is a framework of layered services designed to help the discovery, access, understanding, and visualization of data from the past, present, and future. It includes a visualization component named TerraViz that is a multi-platform tool, running on desktops, web browsers, and mobile devices. The goal is to ingest "big data" and convert that information into efficient formats for real-time visualization. Designed for a world where everything is in motion, NEIS and TerraViz allow fluid data integration and interaction across 4D time and space, providing a tool for everything NOAA does and the people NOAA affects.

TerraViz is built on a novel premise of using a video game engine to visualize information. The goal is to push millions of points of data to the user in real time. With a game engine core, TerraViz is able to create stunning and beautiful visualizations and simulations, which you can see at

Julien is also working on integrating data visualizations with other cutting edge technology including holographic displays, touchless interfaces like the Leap Motion controller, and touch screen kiosks. Beyond his work at NOAA, Julien teaches video game design at CU, and has worked on building a community of both game developers and scientists to continue to push the very cutting edge in visualizations and simulations.

Through his work on TerraViz, Julien is helping to build cross disciplinary collaborations. He is working with scientists at NOAA's Climate Program Office, and has presented TerraViz to several line offices at NOAA, the NOAA CIO, and other organizations like NCAR. In addition to his work on visualizations, Julien is active in bringing together researchers, developers, and students from varying fields to focus on science education and outreach.