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October 2004

Digital Image Library now easily accessible

Lightning with tree silhouettes. (Photo courtesy of Carlye Calvin.)

Tulip in spring snow.

Texas tornado. (Photo courtesy of Harald Richter.)

If one picture is worth a thousand words, then the new Digital Image Library (DIL) contains a wealth of information about the atmosphere, the scientists who study it, and the tools they use. It also has some very pretty pictures.

UCAR Communications has transferred its extensive photo archive onto a user-friendly Web site (see "On the Web," below). The collection contains more than 1,000 photographs of everything from tropical forests to the Mesa Lab, sunsets to smog, tornadoes to cirrus clouds.

"We live in a time when science and technology play an immediate and discernable role in our daily lives, yet it is photographic images that humanize science stories," says Nita Razo, DIL manager. "With this new online catalog, we want to help visually bridge the gap between people's daily lives and the domain of scientific research."

The DIL lets you search for images by keyword or browse the collection through 17 categories: building sites, climate change, clouds, computers, education, environmental, history, modeling, natural disasters, people, phenomena, pollution, radar, research equipment, satellite, solar, and weather. While most of the images relate to NCAR research in some way, a fair number—like a Joshua tree in the Mojave twilight and a tulip crusted in spring snow—are general in nature and make for good screensavers.

Like most virtual stores, the DIL has you place your selections in a shopping cart. Before you can download the image, however, you must select whether you need it for commercial or noncommercial purposes. Educational and noncommercial use is free, while commercial use requires a one-time fee payable online. You can download most of the images as high-quality, high-resolution TIFF files, suitable for publication, with resolutions on the order of 15 to 20 megabytes. You also have the option of creating a virtual lightbox where potential selections can be saved and later reviewed at any time.

On the web

Digital Image Library

Also in this issue...

Freezing drizzle: An aviation hazard that's no longer hard to see

Hurricanes and climate change: Is there a connection?

Paul Swarztrauber looks back on 41 years at NCAR

Farewell to a well-loved tree

Delphi questions

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