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A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill A Discussion of the.

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Presentation on theme: "A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill A Discussion of the."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community – Where do we go Next? Alison M. Eyth Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill October 29, 2003

2 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill PAVE Smoothed Tile Plot Animation (courtesy RWDI)

3 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Currently Used Visualization Tools l PAVE: – free to use, recently made open source – tile plots and integrated time series plots – supports 2D and 3D temporal varying gridded data and point observations – supports animation and formulas l GIS – Free: GRASS, ArcExplorer, OpenMap, … – License fees: MapInfo, ArcView, ArcGIS, MapViewer, … – regular and thematic maps of data in points, lines, polygons e.g. geopolitical boundaries, roads, water bodies – supports multiple layers of different data types l Free tools: Vis5D, NCAR Graphics, OpenDX, GrADS, FAST, … l Commercial tools: SAS, Matlab, S-PLUS, …

4 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill PAVE Plotting Relative Difference (courtesy NC DNR)

5 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill PAVE Plotting Gridded Data and Observations (courtesy NC DNR)

6 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Some PAVE Limitations l Graphics are written in X-Windows / Motif (not good for PCs) l Cannot plot data in lines or polygons – only rectangular grid cells and limited capability for point observations l Cannot incorporate GIS data such as population density or other interesting data sets into plots l Cannot be executed over the Web l Cannot animate over x, y, or z (only time) l Only a few maps provided (states, counties, roads, rivers), with limited rendering styles l Lack of support for 3D plots or contour plots with lines l Must be compiled separately for each platform l Difficult to maintain

7 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill GIS Example – ESRI ArcExplorer (Layers, Colored Thematic Map)

8 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Color-based Thematic Map of Polygons (Courtesy LADCO)

9 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Size-based Thematic Map of Point Sources (courtesy LADCO)

10 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill GIS-style Annotated Thematic Map of Gridded Data (courtesy RWDI)

11 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Limitations of GIS l Many are expensive for end users – But GRASS and ArcExplorer are free l Can be complicated to use l Little support for time-varying or 3D model data l Would need to be customized to read standard AQM data formats l Limited (any?) support for formulas l Animation capabilities very limited l Few cross-platform options (usually they are either PC or Unix)

12 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Hourly Stacked Bar Chart (courtesy LADCO)

13 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Bar Chart Plus Line (courtesy LADCO)

14 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Vis5D Vertical Cross Sections, Terrain, Isosurface

15 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Vis5D Spreadsheet

16 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Can we Create “The Ultimate Visualization Tool” l Combine the good elements from existing commonly used visualization tools into one “ultimate visualization tool” l Goal: Meet [almost] all the visualization needs within a single tool l Many aspects of requirements for the tool: – Data – Display – Functional – System

17 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Data Requirements for “The Ultimate Visualization Tool” l Read formats common to meteorological and air quality models – direct AQM inputs and outputs (2D and 3D temporally varying gridded data, gridded boundary files) – emission inventories (temporally varying point, line, and polygon data with attributes) l Read inputs, outputs and observational data for other types of environmental models: – multimedia models, water quality models, plume models, irregular grid air quality models, … l Read and display maps/data from GIS files (e.g. Shapefiles) – Geopolitical boundaries, water bodies, road networks, cities, land use l Read DTED, satellite images, radar data, met and air quality observational data, flight paths with observations l Read local and remote files l Read very large data sets l Understand 3-D and time varying data

18 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Display Requirements for “The Ultimate Visualization Tool” l Present diverse types of data in an integrated display (2D + 3D gridded, point, line, polygon, satellite, DTED, …) l Have round earth (global) and flat earth (projected) displays l Standard and thematic maps for points, lines, and polygons l Satellite, radar, (and other) image displays l 3D displays: e.g. Topography, multi-colored isosurfaces l Line contours and color filled contours l Color filled grid cells, continuously shaded gridded data l Met displays: Wind vectors, wind barbs, streamlines, Skew-t plots, met observations l Integrated access to time series plots, bar charts, histograms, and other 2D charts from map-based plots l Support multiple related display windows (with concurrent animation) l Support for transparent colors (helps w/ integrated display)

19 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill System Requirements for “The Ultimate Visualization Tool” l Support both batch and interactive modes l Run over the web and on desktops l Run on Windows and Unix systems l Manage memory appropriately to analyze very large data sets l Save plots and animations to image files l Facilitate creation of web pages for its outputs l Print plots l Easy to compile l Easy to extend (e.g. to new data displays, data formats) l Easy / intuitive to use

20 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Functional Requirements for “The Ultimate Visualization Tool” l Animate through time and space (e.g. x, y, z, arbitrary plane) l Select and plot subsets of data sets l Probing to inspect data values / attributes (e.g. in tables) l View “slices of” 4D datasets using various 2D displays (e.g. time series plots, x-t plots, bar charts, tile plots) l Compute and plot results of formulas l Perform data interpolation (e.g. point data onto a grid) & plot l Compute useful statistics about data l Customizable plots (e.g. legend, colors, header, footer) l Zoom, pan, rotate

21 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill GIS-like Functional Requirements for “The Ultimate Visualization Tool” l Support many map projections and earth ellipsoids l Save / reload project so you can restart where you left off l Provide overview map for zooming & panning l Query to find data objects that meet a criteria and analyze the attributes of or operate on resulting objects – e.g. find all point sources emitting > 100 tons NOx / year or find all grid cells with max ozone > 120ppb) and show on map or in a table l Measure distances / areas along map and show scale of map l Show coordinates of mouse pointer in lat-lon and projected coordinates l Show data sets only at scales appropriate to the data set l Label features with attribute data l Show pop up tool tips based-on attribute data l Find addresses on a map

22 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill GIST QA of Point Source Inventory

23 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Geographic Information System Tool (GIST) l Prototype developed at MCNC to explore features not available in PAVE l Integrated display of point, line, and polygon data in layers l Reads Shapefiles, extensible to read other data formats l Creates standard and thematic maps l Supports common map projection types l Customizable plots wrt colors, shapes, line styles l Probing to inspect attributes of data objects l Querying of attribute data then map or see table of matches l Show coordinates of mouse pointer l Overview map, zoom, pan l Java-based – runs over web, on Windows / Unix without recompilation l Easy to use l Interactive mode only l Had planned to support animated thematic maps and reading model data, but didn’t get to that point

24 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill GIST: Query to Find Objects that Meet a Criteria, Show Results on Map or in Table

25 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Visualizing Grids with MIMS Grid Family GUI

26 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill MIMS Grid Family GUI l Define and visualize a set of related grids l View grids in conjunction with shapefiles of related data (e.g. counties, rivers, point sources) l Support for creating fine grids nested within a coarse grid l Supported map projection types are Latitude-Longitude, UTM, and Lambert conformal l Grids defined by four dimensions: lower left x & y, upper right x & y, dx & dy, number of cells x & y l Specify three dimensions and compute fourth l Can specify lower left & upper right corners with mouse l Java-based. Currently available with MIMS (see l Write grids to / read grids from GRIDDESC files used by SMOKE and CMAQ

27 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Unidata Integrated Data Viewer (from the IDV User’s Guide)

28 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Unidata IDV Globe Display (from IDV Visualization examples)

29 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Unidata Integrated Data Viewer l New tool that supports most data requirements – Data types include gridded data, Shapefiles, radar, satellite, observations – Reads remote and local files – Understands 3-D, time varying data l Currently supports all display requirements except possibly polygon-based thematic maps (although time series could be improved) – Global and flat 2D and 3D displays – Animation over time and levels, data probes, Crude time series, vertical profiles, time-height, HTML viewer – 3D displays: Topography, isosurfaces – Skew-t plots, contours, color filled contours, filled grid cells, continuously shaded gridded data, wind vectors, wind barbs, streamlines, surface met observations

30 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Unidata Integrated Data Viewer (ctd) l Supports most basic functional requirements – animation through time & space – subsetting, derived parameters, probing – zoom, pan, rotate – integrated time series & other 2D plots l May not support many GIS-like functional requirements l Supports most system requirements – Java tool based on VisAD – Output as JPEG, quicktime movies, flythroughs – Interactive analyses only right now, but considering batch mode – Some support for running over web / creating web pages l Available from

31 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Air Quality Forecast of Ground Level Ozone 1-hr average (courtesy NOAA) OZONE (parts per billion)

32 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Spatio-temporal Estimated Data BMELib/Matlab Visualization (courtesy Dr. Marc Serre, UNC Chapel Hill)

33 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Point Data with PDFs and Computed Mean (courtesy Dr. Marc Serre, UNC Chapel Hill)

34 A Discussion of the Visualization Needs of the Community Carolina Environmental Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Summary l Currently available tools do not meet all visualization requirements for the UV Tool l Unidata IDV comes close l Need to consider how we can meet the remaining needs l Visualization gallery was suggested to share ideas among community – check CMAS web site for future details – for now, candidate visualizations (< 3MB) to


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