I am an Earth scientist interested in assimilating the wealth of geological and geophysical data into a four-dimensional Earth model (through space and deep time), connecting solid Earth to surface processes. I received my undergraduate degree in geology/geophysics from the Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel, Germany, and my PhD in Earth Science from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, California. After joining the University of Sydney in 1993 I built the EarthByte Research Group. The EarthByters are pursuing open innovation, involving the collaborative development of open-source software as well as open-access global digital data sets and virtual globes. Our fundamental aim is data synthesis through space and time, assimilating the wealth of disparate geodata into a virtual experimental planet.