1) Displaying SUBSURFACE features in a virtual world
There is plenty of interest in showing subsurface data sets in virtual worlds like Google Earth or NASA WorldWind. Continued proof-of-concept projects needs to be done to show how this would possibly look.
NASA WorldWind is an open source Java project that is a perfect candidate for this.
Specifically we will take one or two data sets of different scales and regional extents that have negative elevation values and plot them in the subsurface. We may just modify the opacity of the surface in order to see what's below. Just getting that far would be a major accomplishment in visualizing subsurface data. Previous work on this here: https://github.com/nickhatz/WW_subsurface
2)"Orthorectifying" electron microscope (EM) data in a reference thin section image
This is like an orders of magnitude project! As we zoom further and further into an image of a rock, we see higher resolution data show up. So far, we have just referenced "toy" images, this year we could work with real data! Source code from previous student work here: https://github.com/psoots/GSOC This project essentially treats microscopic data as if it were satellite data, so it's not really GIS, but it's still spatial!!!
3)Geo-LIMS Take an existing open source LIMS (laboratory information management system) project that is written in the Django framework , and add GeoDjango to it, thus spatially enabling the LIMS. This would give the user the ability to click on sample locations on a map interface and get back lab results! Cool!