GIS in Weather and Society Olga Wilhelmi National Center for Atmospheric Research Institute for the Study of Society and Environment WAS*IS Summer 2007 Geographic Information Systems A science and a technology that includes elements of computer visualization, database management and spatial analysis of geographically referenced data. A GIS stores information as a collection of thematic layers that can be linked together by geography. In many disciplines and sectors GIS is used for data integration, analysis and decision making (common tool for many stakeholders, i.e., local and state governments). Georeferenced Data Coordinates (X, Y) or geographic identifier (place name) that can be linked to GIS data Vast collection of geographically referenced data already exists in digital format Google for “your keyword GIS data download” Remotely sensed data – important source of georeferenced data Paper maps can be scanned Data acquisition is usually the most time consuming task Data quality Appropriate use of data (completeness, scale, content, etc.) What can a GIS do? Geographic information links a place (and often a time), with some property of that place “The temperature at 40 N, 105 W at noon local time on 07/16/07 was 25 Celsius.” GIS can store a vast number of these properties The GIS term is attributes. Attributes are nonspatial information about a geographic feature in a GIS, usually stored in a table and linked to the feature by a unique identifier. They can be physical, social, economic, demographic, environmental, etc. GIS Applications Visualization of information Spatial analysis Location (Where is it...) Condition (What is it...) Trend (What has changed...) Pattern (What is the pattern...) Routing (Which is the ’best’ way ...) Modeling (What if...) Integration of information (interdisciplinary research; quantitative and qualitative) Data distribution Traditional use of GIS Source of data: EM-DAT : The OFDA/CRED International Disaster Database. http://www.em-dat.net, UCL - Brussels, Belgium GIS Analysis and Integration Tropical Storm Allison Research studies on and emergency management of hurricaneinduced flooding involve integrating data from atmospheric sciences, oceanography, hydrology, geology, geography, and social sciences. Weather and Society Data in a GIS A set of parameters (e.g., pressure, temperature, wind speed) which vary as continuous functions in 3dimensional space and time. Social Sciences Data Integration / Spatial Analysis Spatially and/or temporally structured quantitative (e.g., surveys), qualitative (e.g., interviews), often context-specific pieces of information. Earth Sciences GIS Collection of features (e.g., roads, soil types, census blocks) with geographic footprints on the Earth surface. Data can be vector (points, lines, polygons) or raster (grid cells). Weather and Climate Data Model 2006 Working dialog between ESRI and weather and climate community: 2005 Four workshops in 2004-2007 Participants: NCAR, Unidata/UCAR, NWS. NOAA NCDC, University of Oklahoma, Pacific Marine Environment Lab, National Marine Fisheries Service, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, ESRI, George Mason University The goal is seamless integration of atmospheric and oceanographic data: Observations Products Infrastructure http://www.gis.ucar.edu/sig 2004 2007 Weather and Climate Data Model Data classified by usability in GIS GIS Ready fully described, point and click ----------- GIS Friendly some effort to make GIS-Ready GIS Alien cannot be fully described ----- Summary by Scott Shipley, GMU in http://www.esri.com/library/newsletters/atmosphericfront/atmospheric-front-fall06.pdf NetCDF Tools in ArcGIS 9.2 Toolbox: Multidimension Tools • • • • • • • Make NetCDF Raster Layer Make NetCDF Feature Layer Make NetCDF Table View Raster to NetCDF Feature to NetCDF Table to NetCDF Select by Dimension Weather Models in a GIS Mesoscale weather predictions Impacts of extreme weather events Verification of model outputs Decision support and management Integration of weather forecast with socioeconomic data Total precipitation NAM CONUS 40km conduit 2007-02-05 NWS GIS Radar Webpages GIS Radar images and warning polygons are displayed, time looped and can be downloaded to a GIS 1 Minute Polygon Warning updates http://radar.weather.gov Keith Stellman, NWS Watches & Warnings Ken Waters, NWS Atmospheric Front http://www.weather.gov/regsci/gis/ GIS and Climate Data Online (CDO) Simple access to NCDC data archives while integrating new and informative products US Drought Indices Rich Baldwin, NCDC http://gis.ncdc.noaa.gov, http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov http://cdo.ncdc.noaa.gov Climate Change in a GIS NCAR GIS Initiative distributes CCSM IPCC projections (monthly averages) in a GIS format http://www.gisclimatechange.org Users of NCAR GIS Portal Biomass potential Resource management Salmon conservation Climate change education Vegetation ecology Water resources Vulnerability of population and ecosystems Agriculture Energy Human health ~ 2000 registered users from 108 countries; ~ 30K CCSM files downloaded Types of users: Research; Education; Government; GIS; Environmental; Military and defense; Industry; Regional planning and economic development; Native American Tribes, Other… Weather and Society Data in a GIS A set of parameters (e.g., pressure, temperature, wind speed) which vary as continuous functions in 3dimensional space and time. Social Sciences Data Integration / Spatial Analysis Spatially and/or temporally structured quantitative (e.g., surveys), qualitative (e.g., interviews), often context-specific pieces of information Earth Sciences GIS Collection of features (e.g., roads, soil types, census blocks) with geographic footprints on the Earth surface. Social Sciences and GIS “Spatial turn“ in social sciences, a new interest in location, and a new "spatial social science" that crosses the traditional boundaries between disciplines. Social processes can be examined in their geographic settings. Resources: Center for Spatially Integrated Social Sciences (http://www.csiss.org/) "Geographic Information Systems for the Social Sciences: Investigating Space and Place" by S. Steinberg and S. Steinberg, 2006 Goodchild (2004) http://www.esri.com/news/arcnews/spring04articles/social-sciences.html GIS-based Risk Assessments: Spatial Integration and analysis Population: 1,5 M Population density: 11,233/mi2 Wilhelmi, Uejio, Samenow (2007) Qualitative Data in a GIS: Conceptual Integration Content-specific; snap shots in time. Visualization of information Geographical referencing (XY, place name, geographic identifier) allows for mapping data together to reach a common interpretation Methodological differences (concepts and study objects) may create challenges Perceptions of climate change From S. McNeeley In Summary GIS is a useful tool to study and solve problems when location matters. GIS provides tools and methods for integrative, interdisciplinary research and decision-making. Ongoing research in Atmo-GIS and spatial social sciences offer many new potentials. Research challenges provide great topics for students! Contact E-mail: [email protected] GIS Initiative webpage: http://www.gis.ucar.edu ArcGIS Exercise Exploring societal risk to flash flooding Flash flood in Fort Collins, Colorado: 5 people died US $250 M in damage Extreme precipitation event Group Projects Group discussion Vulnerability mapping (what characteristics did you select for vulnerability mapping and why?) Presentation of the results • Does your map convey what you are trying to present? • Discuss and critic selection of scale, legend, color schemes, other map elements Discuss the role of GIS in your work. If not used already, imagine the potential use of GIS in your weather and society applications. Discuss challenges and opportunities.