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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.

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Presentation on theme: "Programming Tools for Visualization of GIS Data Garret Suen Wednesday, March 5, 2003 CPSC601.82 –Advanced Algorithms in GIS and Scientific Applications."— Presentation transcript:

1 Programming Tools for Visualization of GIS Data Garret Suen Wednesday, March 5, 2003 CPSC601.82 –Advanced Algorithms in GIS and Scientific Applications

2 Outline  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

3 Introduction  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

4 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)

5 Application Areas  The area of GIS focuses on specific areas that require specialized visualization needs.  The areas we will focus on today include: 1.Geological Information (Oil, Gas, Mining) 2.Climate Information (Weather Prediction) 3.Residential Information (Maps)

6 Geological Information  This area specializes in visualization geological information.  This includes minerals, precious metals, oil and gas deposits. Courtesy of:

7 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)

8 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

9 ArcView and Geology

10 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.

11 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:

12 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

13 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.

14 Digital Atmosphere 2000

15 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.

16 DA2000 – Digital Satellite Photos

17 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:

18 Challenges in Residential Visualization  Focus (coarse vs. fine grain)  Information Representation  Intelligent Navigation (GPS)  Intelligent Search (Databases)  Simulation (e.g. Traffic Planning)

19 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.

20 AutoDesk Map 2002

21 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.

22 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!).

23 Working Towards the Future Terrain model – a CAVE Perspective @ the University of Illinois – Urbana, Champagne

24 Summary  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.

25 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.

26 References ArcView: – AutoDesk Map 2002: –,,2260583-123112,00.html,,2260583-123112,00.html Digital Atmosphere 2000: – CAVE: –

27 Questions? Comments?

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