Every now and then a scientific paper or independent study publishes findings that detail the extent of our planet’s problems. Pollution at an all time high. Greenhouse gases causing global warming. Extreme climate phenomena. Nuclear radiation leaks. Deforestation. The list goes on – and it’s pretty depressing.

It’s also difficult to get all that information in a place where it’s easy to visualise. However, thanks to to some clever coding, lots of research, and liberal use of Google Earth’s core technologies, we can now do just that. Climateviewer has a 3D, Google Earth-powered viewer that visualises all of the above mentioned maladies in, well, 3D.

It’s got loads of layers that reference information from agencies around the world. Click on “deforestation” and it draws a 3D map of countries where tree-chopping is a national pastime. Select the world’s most radioactive sites, and it shows everything from Fukushima to Three Mile Island.

The depth of information is pretty amazing, too. The pollution category breaks down into many smaller sections, some of which are limited to specific countries. There are also more general views, including a satellite view that shows the contraptions currently orbiting the planet. A great way to spend a few hours, sifting through boring data in a more visually engaging way.

Eleven years ago Christo started writing about technology for one of South Africa's (then) leading computer magazines. His first review? A Samsung LCD monitor. Hey, it was hot news, back then. Nowadays he gets more excited about photography, cars, game consoles, and faster internet connections. He's sort of an Apple fan, but will take any opportunity to remind you about his Windows-powered home theatre PC and desire to own a vanilla Android tablet.   Currently uses: Apple 13-inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display, Apple iPhone 5, Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000, Audiofly AF78 Earphones, Xbox 360, Nikon D50.