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Programming Tools for Visualization of GIS Data. Garret Suen Wednesday, March 5, 2003 CPSC601.82 –Advanced Algorithms in GIS and Scientific Applications. Outline. Introduction – Visualization in GIS Application Areas Specific Problems in Application Areas

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programming tools for visualization of gis data

Programming Tools for Visualization of GIS Data

Garret Suen

Wednesday, March 5, 2003

CPSC601.82 –Advanced Algorithms in GIS and Scientific Applications

  • Introduction – Visualization in GIS
    • Application Areas
  • Specific Problems in Application Areas
  • Survey of Programs and Programming Tools
  • Future of Visualization in GIS
  • Conclusion and Summary
  • Visualization in GIS deals with displaying information regarding geographical data
  • Challenges include accuracy, integrity, and visibility
  • Commercial and Specialty software and programming tools exist that focus on visualizing geographical information in specific areas of GIS
general challenges in gis visualization
General Challenges in GIS Visualization
  • Moving from photos/data to digital images
  • Displaying such information in a way that makes sense
  • Manipulating data easily
  • Creating databases of GIS information that are useful
  • Level of detail (coarse vs. fine-grain)
application areas
Application Areas
  • The area of GIS focuses on specific areas that require specialized visualization needs.
  • The areas we will focus on today include:
      • Geological Information (Oil, Gas, Mining)
      • Climate Information (Weather Prediction)
      • Residential Information (Maps)
geological information
Geological Information
  • This area specializes in visualization geological information.
  • This includes minerals, precious metals, oil and gas deposits.

Courtesy of:

challenges in geo visualization
Challenges in Geo Visualization
  • Geological Visualization attempts to abstract information regarding the earth’s strata from surface information
  • Problems in Visualization deal with:
    • Volume representation (e.g. mountains)
    • Layer representation (boundaries)
    • Accuracy (from picture to digital images)
geological visualization programs
Geological Visualization Programs
  • Many companies make use of their own in-house software.
  • However, there are many commercial software packages that are used as well.
  • The most common package is the ArcView group of programs
programming tools
Programming Tools
  • ArcView is an interactive product that allows for customization.
  • It provides a host of built-in tools for geological information visualization.
  • It allows for the creation of application specific scripts and macros
  • It also allows for the creation and linking of spatial databases to information visualization.
climate information
Climate Information
  • Used extensively by weather forecasters, these systems attempt to model climate patterns.
  • This includes air current, precipitation, temperature, and dew point information.

Courtesy of:

challenges in climate visualization
Challenges in Climate Visualization
  • Dynamic updates from databases
  • Representation of many aspects of climate over the same area
  • Extrapolation of weather conditions over time
  • Tracking weather changes over time
climate visualization programs
Climate Visualization Programs
  • For the most part, climate visualization deal with static maps that attempt to convey climate information.
  • Numerous companies exist that provide climate and weather maps for regions and areas.
  • We will consider one such commercial product popular with weather forecasters: Digital Atmosphere 2000.
digital atmosphere 2000 features
Digital Atmosphere 2000 Features
  • This program allows you to import almost any map in a format accepted by the World Meteorological Organization
  • It allows you to create scripts and run simulations over time of weather patterns
  • Allows hook-up to digital satellite photos so you can see the weather as it is happening.
  • Provides ways to view all types of climate information.
residential information
Residential Information
  • This focuses on visualizing man-made structures such as roads.
  • Used in a variety of areas such as urban development, residential planning, and GPS Navigation.

Courtesy of:

challenges in residential visualization
Challenges in Residential Visualization
  • Focus (coarse vs. fine grain)
  • Information Representation
  • Intelligent Navigation (GPS)
  • Intelligent Search (Databases)
  • Simulation (e.g. Traffic Planning)
residential visualization programs
Residential Visualization Programs
  • Most commercial applications in this area simply provide maps for residential development.
  • One of the leading companies that deals with residential information is Autodesk.
  • The Autodesk Map software package is run on an AutoCAD base.
  • The main advantage of AutoDesk Map is its ability to incorporate satellite photos and directly manipulate them.
autodesk map 2002 features
AutoDesk Map 2002 Features
  • Easy creation of spatial databases.
  • Direct manipulation of maps, aerial, and satellite photos.
  • Automatic coordinate geometry information extracted from maps.
  • Ability to add spatial information (polygons) and convert polygons/polylines into polyobjects for export into spatial databases.
  • Basic Algorithms: shortest-path, network tracing, and polygon overlay.
future of gis visualization
Future of GIS Visualization
  • The future of GIS Visualization will ultimately be based on new paradigms of visualization.
  • Current traditional models work on bringing the 3D to the 2D.
  • Future visualization will work on allowing information to be visualized on the 3D level (CAVE!).
working towards the future
Working Towards the Future

Terrain model – a CAVE Perspective @ the University of Illinois – Urbana, Champagne

  • GIS Visualization is specific to the application area that is being applied to.
  • Each area faces different challenges in understanding their own types of information.
  • We have looked at the problems involved in 3 different GIS Areas: Geological, Climate, and Residential.
summary cont
Summary (cont.)
  • Various commercial software solutions are available for the GIS practitioner.
  • Each software solution provides a wide array of functions and tools for manipulating and displaying information.
  • As our understanding of GIS information increases, software will move towards providing the tools necessary.
  • Programming tools are generally in the form of scripting tools that allow for specific manipulation of data.



AutoDesk Map 2002:


Digital Atmosphere 2000: