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A Robust and Flexible Geospatial Modeling Interface (GMI) for Deploying and Evaluating Natural Resource Models

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2015 ASABE Annual International Meeting  152189864.(doi:10.13031/aim.20152189864)
Authors:   James C. Ascough II, Nathan P. Lighthart, Olaf David
Keywords:   Environmental modeling, GIS, Interface, Models.

Abstract. Geographical information systems (GIS) software packages have been used for nearly three decades as analytical tools in natural resource management for geospatial data assembly, processing, storage, and visualization of input data and model output. However, with increasing availability and use of full-featured geospatial data management tools, such as commercial (e.g., ArcGIS and IDRISI) and public domain open source (e.g., GRASS, Quantum GIS, MapWindow, uDIG) GIS, new issues have surfaced regarding application of natural resource models to a range of spatial scales and the role of geospatial data tools and analytical techniques in decision making. With increased availability of powerful PCs, cloud computing platforms, and web-based GIS tools and access to geospatial data sets, it is quite common to see natural resource models originally developed for small-scale, site-specific analyses now being applied to new domains/problems, and, through GIS, to very large areas to examine spatio-temporal variations in environmental impact assessment. This paper provides an overview of the GMI (Geospatial Modeling Interface) simulation framework for natural resource model deployment and evaluation. GMI currently provides access to numerous environmental and agroecosystem models including AgroEcoSystem-Watershed (AgES-W), Nitrate Leaching and Economic Analysis 2 (NLEAP2), Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), and Root Zone Water Quality Model 2 (RZWQM2). GMI data processing and visualization features include but are not limited to: (1) editing and visualization of geospatial model input data; (2) the ability to input measured experimental data for robust statistical model evaluation; and (3) geospatial output visualization across space, time, and modeling scenarios including capabilities for real-time post-processing (e.g., on-the-fly color ramping) and querying. GMI leverages the GeoWind open source GIS platform that integrates Open Geospatial Consortium standards (as implemented in GeoTools) within NASA's World Wind Java SDK. The overall vision of the GMI development effort is the creation of a geospatial modeling framework that allows rapid integration of environmental models and enhances enables the scientific modeling process through state-of-the-art visualization components.

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