Martin’s world

Visualizing oil reservoirs or tectonic plates under the seafloor requires lots of computing power and the imagination to envision what the data are showing you. That’s Martin Landrø’s work world. But he’s also fascinated by how teachers from a century ago taught their students about the Earth and the way it moves around the sun.

Ever wonder how scientists who work with really difficult problems, like subsea visualization, think? Consider Martin Landrø, a professor in NTNU’s Department of Geoscience and Petroleum, who is an expert in working with 3D seismic visualization.

Landrø’s job is to transform terabytes of data into images. Some of his work shows geologists where to find undersea oil. Other efforts provide earthquake researchers with views of how the Earth’s tectonic plates move against each other.

Yet when he found a simple globe in an antique shop that had been set up in an old school house, he couldn’t help himself. He bought it and had someone fix the cogs that help turn the complicated gearing system.

It’s elegant and concrete, an easy way to show young students the carefully choreographed waltz of the Earth, the Moon and the Sun.

And sometimes, it’s nice to take a break from trying to turn all those terabytes of seismic data into a meaningful, understandable image. A 100-year-old globe does something like that: call it Martin’s world.