Environmental Engineering Reference
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Fig. 6 Land Information System ( LIS ) by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, integration of
remote sensing data into a modelling framework. Source Modified from http://lis.gsfc.nasa.gov/
the help of remote sensing data products (such as classi
cation maps of land use,
vegetation properties and urban areas), the model simulates the water balance of a
c area. Influential factors to the water balance such as land use changes and
the resultant impact on water availability can be investigated. Based on the
observed system, behaviour scenarios about future water availability (e.g. in
dependency on the predicted land-use changes) can be analyzed. The visualized
model results can support decision-makers with choices related to water manage-
ment policies. Several recent projects [e.g. ARIES (University of Vermont et al.
2013 ), CESM (UCAR and NCAR 2013 )] follow the visualization workflow as
depicted in Fig. 1 in order to inform and support decision-makers.
Most simulation models provide visualization of the modelled results, but these
images are often very simple. For example, for flood protection purposes, a time
series of water flows in a river system is shown in a large number of water flow
maps, where each of the maps represents a discrete snapshot. Interactive map
representations of water flow time-series that colourfully highlight potential dis-
charge regions on the map are easier to understand and have a much higher chance
to be considered by decision-makers during the decision process than convential
non-interactive maps. In the case of drought risk analysis, an interactive time series
of drought indices can highlight where and when the risk for drought is highest.
Additionally, time series of river flow maps can reveal where water might be lost
from the system (e.g. through withdrawal from the river system for irrigation).
This basis of the dynamic illustration of fluxes (e.g. water flow) is either time
series of measured data or time-dependent modelling results. Freely available tools
that allow for visualizing dynamic fluxes are for instance Worldwide Telescope
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