Developing Data Extraction and Dynamic Data Visualization (Styling) Modules for Web GIS Risk Assessment System (WGRAS)

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för naturgeografi och ekosystemvetenskap

Abstract: Interactive web-GIS tools play an important role in determining disaster risk assessment which ultimately result in reduction of unexpected damages, cost and saves millions of lives. Disaster management practitioners largely benefited information at their disposal about location where possible incidents are eminent, anticipate the impact and project possible outcomes to help mitigate and organize proper response. It is also important to note that, accurate and timely information is critical for coherent coordination in response to disasters. All the above can be achieved through proper data collection combined with computer assisted modelling, analysis, production and timely dissemination of spatial information. This Master’s thesis aims to extend features of Web GIS for Risk Assessment (WGRAS) project conducted at the Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science at Lund University. The work includes development of tools for geospatial data acquisition and extraction from freely available external open non-commercial sources and dynamic, user-oriented map Visualization allowing user-defined symbolization and coloring resulting flexible visual portrayal of geospatial data in the web environment. In this regard, solutions are driven based upon open source, open data and implementation strictly complies with open web standard protocols and web services. As a result, WGRAS is furnished with easy and user driven raw geo-spatial data extracts for an area of interest from OpenStreetMap (OSM). Thus, data is automatically stored for later use for different spatial modelling and analysis. The second most important contribution of this thesis is the feature developed to solve visualization of geographic information through a map server where maps are generated with a pre-defined style that limits user’s visual needs. Visualization module enables dynamic definition of style (symbolization and coloring) data which assist non-GIS expert to produce instant and meaningful presentation of maps to the end user. Overall, the work in this practical thesis adds value to disaster management and analysis in terms of easy provision of data and enabling clear dissection of disaster prone areas using effective visualization mechanism.

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