IGIBS Final Product Post

“An INSPIREing tool enabling researchers to share their geospatial data over the web”

The Open Geospatial Consortium’s Web Map Service (WMS) is a core standard underpinning many Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) throughout the world.  This includes INSPIRE, the UK Location Programme and our own UK academic SDI.  The WMS Factory Tool created by the IGIBS project; for the first time, allows users to upload their data and automatically generate a fully standards based, INSPIRE compliant WMS.  Users can control styling and view their data alongside a broad range of other data from a broad range of content providers.  The WMS Factory Tool has been created in partnership with Welsh Government and students within UK academia in anticipation of the revolution in the use of Geographic Information that will come about through the increasing availability of data via interoperability standards in conjunction with the UK Location Programme and INSPIRE.

The WMS Factory Tool was developed in close cooperation with students at the University of Aberystwyth’s Institute of Geography and Earth Science in the context of their growing repository of data related to the UNESCO designated Dyfi Biosphere Reserve.  If a student is doing a project and generating data, and they need to be able, for purposes of analysis and integration, to view that data alongside data from the spectrum of Welsh public authorities establishing INSPIRE compliant services, then this tool lets them do so quickly, without the need to waste time sourcing, extracting, transforming and uploading data from a range of non-interoperable proprietary formats.

The working prototype has been developed and configured so that data is uploaded to EDINA machines.  The following video gives a flavour of how the tool works:

Click here to view the embedded video.

Note that as an advanced feature access can be restricted using Shibboleth (open source Security Assertion Markup Language implementation used in the UK Access Management Federation) so only authorised users can access the service and so that other organisations in the federation can make more data available.

The software is easy to deploy and configured so that data may be uploaded and WMS generated at user specified locations.  Here is a good place to start with documentation.

And here is a picture of the team that brought you this product.  More information on IGIBS can be found throughout this blog starting with the about page.

Core IGIBS Project Team at Welsh Government Offices in Cardiff on the 11th Nov, 2011

The software is in prototype at the moment, but is in a condition where it can be deployed.  EDINA commits to maintaining this software for a minimum of 3 years, ie, until Nov 2014, though it is likely the software will have developed considerably by then.

It is likely that this software will contribute to the growing suite of open source tooling available for use with INSPIRE compliant services and encodings, most obviously as a means for users within the UK academic sector to create WMS (temporary or persistent) for use with UK Location Programme network services.

At its heart is the Minnesota Mapserver WMS software, very stable, well understood and highly regarded software.  The IGIBS software is available for download.  It is licenced under the modified BSD licence, meaning, in précis, that the software is made available using a permissive free software licence, which has minimal requirements in respect of how the software can be redistributed.

STEEV Final Product Post

This blog post provides details about the web tool developed by the STEEV project.

Problem Space:

  • There is a requirement by the UK government to reduce the country’s carbon emission by 80% by 2050.
  • Buildings account for 45% of energy use in the UK, the equivalent of all transport and manufacturing combined (ESRC, 2009).
  • Most building stock which will exist in 2050 has already been built.
  • To achieve this target massive alterations of the current buildings are required. Part of the solution would be a tool that could enable planners, local authorities and government to best estimate the impact of policy changes and to target the interventions appropriately.

Cue  – the STEEV demonstrator, a stakeholder engagement tool developed to visualise spatio-temporal patterns of modeled energy use and efficiency outcomes for the period of 1990-2050 – http://steevsrv.edina.ac.uk/

For a portable overview of the project download the STEEV postcard

Primary Users:

Students, researchers, lecturers from a wide variety of disciplines/sub-disciplines, including geography, architecture, ecology, environmental science, economics, energy engineering and management.

The tool is also aimed at a range of stakeholders such as policy makers, urban developers, climate change specialists, carbon energy analysts, town planners.

Key Product Information – motivations and mechanisms

The STEEV demonstrator was developed to complement a larger project, Retrofit 2050 – Re-Engineering the City 2020-2050: Urban Foresight and Transition Management (EPSRC EP/I002162/1) which aims, through a range of stakeholders, to get a clearer understanding as to how urban transitions can be undertaken to achieve UK and international targets to reduce carbon emissions. The Retrofit 2050 project focuses on two large urban case study areas (Manchester and Neath/Port Talbot, South Wales – the latter being the focus of the STEEV demonstrator due to data availability within the project time-frame), through modelling scenarios of carbon emissions and energy use, both now and in the future.

The demonstrator itself is a client web application that enables researchers and stakeholders to look at how the spatial and temporal distribution of energy efficiency measures may impact upon likely regional outcomes for a given future state. This takes the form of a spatio-temporal exploration and visualisation tool for building-level energy efficiency modelling outputs such as the energy rating of the building, the likely energy demand of the building and the related CO2 emissions. A finite series of modelled scenario permutations have been ‘pre-built’ thus providing a limited number of parameters to be interactively altered in order to explore the spatio-temporal consequences of various policy measures.

View the STEEV Demonstrator Website: : http://steevsrv.edina.ac.uk/

Note: A further workpackage to establish a small area data viewer as part of the presentation layer will also be implemented shortly. This replaces the Memento geo-Timegate component of Workpackage 3.

The user interface has two main areas of activity, namely:

  • three ‘pre-built’ policy scenarios which depict government investment in energy efficiency measures (from best to worst case scenario) and a user generated scenario created by selecting a combination of the energy efficiency variables which go to make up the ‘pre-built’ scenarios.
  • a map viewer that enables model output values (SAP ratings, Energy use, CO2 emission) for each scenario to be viewed for each decade (1990 to 2050) at Output Area level of spatial granularity.

Further information about the policy-scenarios and variable descriptions are available from the help page

Fig1. – The STEEV Demonstrator

STEEV tool interface

Fig. 2. – Policy Scenario 2 – Low Carbon Reference

CO2 emissions, 2010 - Low carbon reference

Fig. 2 – Policy scenario 2 – Low Carbon Reference (i.e. the government invests in partial decarbonisation of the grid through reduced dependence on fossil fuels. Large investment in energy efficiency and small scale renewable, some change in occupant behaviour) has been selected for 2010. CO2 emissions have been chosen as model output value.

Fig. 3 – User-generated Scenario

Energy use for Custom Scenario 2020

Fig. 3 – A zoomed in view of a user-generated scenario for Energy Use for 2020. Note: User generated scenarios are forecast only.

Fig. 4 – Policy scenario 3 – Google Earth Time Slider

Energy efficiency data can be downloaded as Keyhole Markup Language (KML) files for use with the Google Earth Time Slider (for ‘pre-built’ scenarios only – see below) or as raw ASCII files complete with spatial reference for analysis in a Geographic Information System.

Energy Use policy scenario

Fig. 4 – KML files viewed on Google Earth for Energy Use output model values for policy scenario 3 – (i.e. the government invests in decarbonisation of the grid through renewable, nuclear, and huge investment in energy efficiency and small scale renewables. Large scale change in occupants behaviour)

Fig. 5 – Model output for individual buildings

Model output for individual buildings

Fig. 5 – Forecasted model output values (SAP rating, Energy use, CO2 emissions, CO2 emissions based on 1990 levels) for an individual building in 2030.

Note: Click on Blue dot and select Buildings map layer.

Engagement:
Members of the STEEV project presented at the following events:

  • STEEV / GECO Green Energy Tech Workshop at the Edinburgh Centre on Climate Change (13 October 2011) – for further details see blog post
  • Post-event comments include:

    “STEEV provides a new simple tool to quickly visualise a series of scenarios concerning energy consumption and carbon emissions within the complexities of the urban fabric. By facilitating the visual and historical understanding of these issues in a wider area, and for its forecasting capability considering a series of energy efficiency variables, it has a great potential to assist the planning and design processes.“ – Cristina Gonzalez-Longo (School of Architecture, University of Edinburgh)

    The STEEV system’s geospatial information on energy consumption and CO2 emissions can help planners and project developers target projects and initiatives related to energy efficiency and reduction of carbon emissions. Furthermore, the forecasting tools built into STEEV enables energy and carbon emissions to be estimated through to 2050 on the basis of alternative scenarios for energy efficiency initiatives, renewable energy, etc. This facility should help to determine where the opportunities for future emissions reductions will be, and the contributions made by existing policies and plans to future (e.g. 2020 and 2050) emissions reduction targets.” – Jim Hart (Business Manager, Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation)

  • The Low Carbon Research Institute 3rd Annual Conference held at the National Museum of Wales on 15-16 November 2011
  • Post-Industrial Transformations – sharing knowledge and identifying opportunities, a two-day architectural symposium held at the Welsh School of Architecture on 22-23 November 2011

Technologies:
The STEEV demonstrator is a JavaScript client application which uses Open Layers as the mechanism for displaying the map data over the web. It also deploys a Web Map Service with temporal querying capabilities (WMS-T) to deliver Ordnance Survey open mapping products via the Digimap OpenStream API. The modelled energy efficiency variables are held in PostGIS (an open source spatial database extension to PostgreSQL)

Licences::
Data – Open Database License (ODC-ODbL) — “Attribution Share-Alike for data/databasesâ€�
Code – GNU General Public License version 3.0
Blog & other website content – Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

Table of Contents of Blog Posts:

Project Logos:

combined logos of EDINA, JISC, WSA

Project Team:

STEEV Project Team

EDINA team members (L to R: Lasma Sietinsone, George Hamilton, Stuart Macdonald, Nicola Osborne. Fiona Hemsley-Flint is currently on maternity leave.)

Simon Lannon: Project partner from Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University:

Final blog post – Walking Through Time

Walking Through Time closing blog

This is a final closing blog post that summarises the achievements of JISC follow-on funding for Rapid Innovation – Benefits Realisation Small Project Funding.

The WTT project has taken many turns in its two year history and has forged many links that continue to demonstrate the rich nature of both the idea behind it and the collaboration that made it happen.

As of July 2011 the iPhone App has been downloaded over 9000 times and it continues to attract attention with limited marketing.

The App site is here:

http://www.walkingthroughtime.co.uk

The link the to App in the Apple store is here:

http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/walking-through-time-edinburgh/id381528712?mt=8

The app was launched at the end of July 2010 in time for the Edinburgh International Festivals. At this time the project team had secured an agreement with the Landmark Information Group to allow free public access to their historical maps for a period of time that covered the festival. This made the free app very attractive because along with 3 maps from the National Library of Scotland, the app allowed multiple maps of Edinburgh.

In addition to the maps, two guided tours were included that featured audio files embedded within the app:

1. Margaret Stewart a historian at the Edinburgh College of Art provided a very personal narrative to the history of places surrounding the Royal Mile.

2. The Edinburgh World Heritage Trust recorded a selection of narratives by two Scottish actors to extend their popular House Histories trail.

The tours appear as trails that are linked between landmarks in the map. Each landmark is identified by a pin point in the map, and touching/clicking the pin give access to text and audio file (where available).

Gallery of working app (click here for larger images):

Education and Cultural impact

The app has made good impact into the education and cultural communities and WTT was presented through an invited lecture and accompanying workshop at the Digital Futures of Cultural Heritage Education symposium at the University of Edinburgh (DFCHE), March 2011. The DFCHE project was funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and led in collaboration by the School of Education at the University of Edinburgh and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and the National Galleries of Scotland. DFCHE had two specific aims: 1. To begin to establish a research agenda for museum and gallery education for the digital age, 2. To inform policy and practice in the use of social media and user-generated content by the Scottish cultural heritage sector.

Business / Spin out

Following the immediate success of the app during the Edinburgh Festival 2010 the project team began conversations with Landmark Information Group to develop a UK version of the app which would allow the public to walk/drive across the UK using an 1850 map. Particular excited by the prospect of finding out what was under the M1 as one drives to London, the idea, coupled with the exciting download statistics from the festival led to a series of conversations about a fully licensed product.

Landmark remain keen to develop a product, however concerns over the pricing framework have meant that discussions have since stalled. In order to justify the release of UK wide maps, the company would have to charge a significant price for the app (something in the region of £4 for a single map).

More recently following a presentation of the app at the Scottish Technology Showcase (7th June SECC, Glasgow) interest has now turned to developing international language versions of the app for Edinburgh Tourists. Since the app capitalises upon the free maps that are made available by the National Library of Scotland, and 60% of visitors to Edinburgh are international, developing foreign language versions may be better way of capitalising what the project team has achieved.

Invited Talks

The app has attracted a great deal of attention across academic communities for a number of reasons:

1. For the GIS community the very user centred approach in its simplicity as an iphone App has given the team access discussions about how GIS technologies can access new audiences.

2. The museum community has embraced the App as a model demonstrator of novel audience engagement that connects historical data with contemporary media.

3. The IT / HCI community enjoy it’s critical design approach – the turn toward using old maps as oppose to adopting new cutting edge technology.

These connections and interests have led to range of invited talks and presentations in which WTT was discussed in the context of multi-disciplinary production and agile development:

SACHI: the St Andrews Computer Human Interaction research group

St. Andrews University

Invited research seminar: 29th March 2011

http://sachi.cs.st-andrews.ac.uk/activities/seminars/

Learning Sciences Research Institute, Nottingham University

Invited research seminar: 11th January 2011

http://portal.lsri.nottingham.ac.uk/Seminars/Lists/Events/Archived%20Events.aspx

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS), Edinburgh

Invited research seminar: 8th August 2011

http://www.rcahms.gov.uk

Conference presentations

The App has also been presented as part of a series of conference presentations and papers:

The Digital Landscape Architecture conference, at Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, Germany. 26th to 30th May, 2010.

Speed, C. and Southern, J. (2010) Handscapes – Reflecting upon the Use of Locative Media to Explore Landscapes.

http://www.kolleg.loel.hs-anhalt.de/landschaftsinformatik/436.html

Also published in the conference proceedings:

http://www.abebooks.co.uk/9783879074914/Peer-Reviewed-Proceedings-Digital-Landscape-3879074917/plp

MappingtheCITYinFILM a Geo-historical Analysis.

An International Interdisciplinary Conference
School of Architecture / School of Politics and Communication Studies

University of Liverpool. 24th -26th February 2010.

http://www.liv.ac.uk/lsa/cityinfilm/index.html

Speed, C. (2010) Walking Through Time: Use of Locative Media to Explore Historical Maps.

The Digital Humanities 2011 conference

Stanford University Library, Stanford. 19th – 22nd June 2011.

https://dh2011.stanford.edu/?page_id=3

Co-organised Panel: Virtual Cities/Digital Histories featuring papers by:

Robert C. Allen, Natasha Smith, Pamella Lach, Richard Marciano, Chris Speed, Todd Presner, Philip Ethington, David Shepard, Chien-Yi Hou, & Christopher Johanson

Speed, C. (2011) Walking Through Time and Tales of Things.

https://dh2011.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/DH2011_BookOfAbs.pdf

The App was also presented the Scottish Technology Showcase, Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, Glasgow. 7th June 2011.

http://www.scottish-enterprise.com/microsites/technologyshowcase.aspx

Awards

ALISS (Association of Librarians and Information Professionals in the Social Sciences) is a not-for-profit unincorporated professional society. It is an independent group which was formed in April 2005 by the former committee of ASSIGN (Aslib Social Science Information Group and Network).

http://www.alissnet.org.uk/

Walking Through Time article / paper published in ALISS Quarterly was nominated for the first prize (£50)

Chris Speed Walking Through Time in Volume 5, no. 3 ISSN 17479258, April 2010 of ALISS Quarterly

http://www.alissnet.org.uk/uploadedFiles/Aliss_Quarterly/completeproofapril2010.pdf

Network Activity

Following the conference presentation at MappingtheCITYinFILM a Geo-historical Analysis in Liverpool in 2010, Speed was invited to consult and become a member of an AHRC/BT funded research network.

Through a series of meetings the network established a small but critical community who offered expert inquiry into cultural opportunities for GIS and new media to engage with historical documents / material.

http://www.liv.ac.uk/lsa/cityinfilm/intro.html

Chapters

Research from the WTT project has informed two book chapters:

Mapping Cultures, published by Palgrave Books

Edited by Les Roberts

Chris Speed: Walking Through Time: Use of Locative Media to Explore Historical Maps

Due early 2012

Heritage and Social Media: Understanding and Experiencing Heritage in a Participatory Culture, published by Routledge books

Edited by Elisa Giaccardi

Chris Speed: Mobile Ouija Boards

Due early 2010

Link to code repository or API:

Source Forge Site: http://sourceforge.net/projects/walkthrutime/

download the XCode project here

Project Team:

Chris Speed, c.speed@eca.ac.uk – Edinburgh College of Art

Ian Campbell, i.campbell@eca.ac.uk – Edinburgh College of Art

Karlyn Sutherland, karlyn_sutherland@hotmail.co.uk, Edinburgh College of Art

Dave Berry, Dave.Berry@ed.ac.uk – Information Systems, University of Edinburgh

Peter Pratt, Peter.Pratt@ed.ac.uk – Information Systems, University of Edinburgh

Petra Leimlehner, Petra.Leimlehner@ed.ac.uk – Information Systems, University of Edinburgh

Jeff Haywood, Jeff.Haywood@ed.ac.uk – Information Systems, University of Edinburgh

James Reid, James.Reid@ed.ac.uk – EDINA

Tim Urwin, T.Urwin@ed.ac.uk – EDINA

Project Website:
◦    http://walkingthroughtime.eca.ac.uk/

PIMS entry:
◦    https://pims.jisc.ac.uk/projects/view/1718


WalkThruT: A web app that provides historical maps to people with smart phones

Screenshots or diagram of prototype:
•    http://walkingthroughtime.eca.ac.uk/?page_id=2

picture-13

iphone1iphone2iphone3iphone4

•    Final copy of user manual and description

Link to working prototype:
Please contact: c.speed@eca.ac.uk to get URL

Link to end user documentation:
◦    We feel that the YouTube video was the most effective and user centred piece of explanatoy documentation:
◦    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJwYv-6wgf8

◦    Micro Site: http://www.walkingthroughtime.co.uk

website

Link to code repository or API:
◦    Source Forge Site: http://walkingthrough.sourceforge.net/

Link to technical documentation:
◦    Technical Report

Date prototype was launched:
◦    User testing began throughout September, with a refined version available at the end of September: 30/9/09

Project Team:

Chris Speed, c.speed@eca.ac.uk – Edinburgh College of Art

Ian Campbell, i.campbell@eca.ac.uk – Edinburgh College of Art

Karlyn Sutherland, karlyn_sutherland@hotmail.co.uk, Edinburgh College of Art

Dave Berry, Dave.Berry@ed.ac.uk – Information Systems, University of Edinburgh

Peter Pratt, Peter.Pratt@ed.ac.uk – Information Systems, University of Edinburgh

Petra Leimlehner, Petra.Leimlehner@ed.ac.uk – Information Systems, University of Edinburgh

Jeff Haywood, Jeff.Haywood@ed.ac.uk – Information Systems, University of Edinburgh

James Reid, James.Reid@ed.ac.uk – EDINA

Tim Urwin, T.Urwin@ed.ac.uk – EDINA

Project Website:
◦    http://walkingthroughtime.eca.ac.uk/

PIMS entry:
◦    https://pims.jisc.ac.uk/projects/view/1350

Table of Content for Project Posts
◦    http://walkingthroughtime.eca.ac.uk/?p=32 – Technical Start
◦    http://walkingthroughtime.eca.ac.uk/?p=98 – Is this the answer – Geolocation
◦    http://walkingthroughtime.eca.ac.uk/?p=107 – Getting Started
◦    http://walkingthroughtime.eca.ac.uk/?p=110 – Our Edinburgh?
◦    http://walkingthroughtime.eca.ac.uk/?p=114 – The artists view
◦    http://walkingthroughtime.eca.ac.uk/?p=118 – Meeting one a summary of work up to that point
◦    http://walkingthroughtime.eca.ac.uk/?p=121 – Art meets Tech – Chris and Karlyns write up
◦    http://walkingthroughtime.eca.ac.uk/?p=130 – Tech fights back – early prototyping using balsamiq
◦    http://walkingthroughtime.eca.ac.uk/?p=150 – Mr Speed and his iPhone
◦    http://walkingthroughtime.eca.ac.uk/?p=155 – Outline of what came next
◦    http://walkingthroughtime.eca.ac.uk/?p=162 – Summary of the work up to that point
◦    http://walkingthroughtime.eca.ac.uk/?p=169 – Cross Platform – how does Android look or the day before Dave came to visit
◦    http://walkingthroughtime.eca.ac.uk/?p=176 – First cut is the deepest? A summary of feedback up to this point
◦    http://walkingthroughtime.eca.ac.uk/?p=179 – Meeting summary
◦    http://walkingthroughtime.eca.ac.uk/?p=183 – Post JISCRI event
◦    http://walkingthroughtime.eca.ac.uk/?p=185 – Web Application findings
◦    http://walkingthroughtime.eca.ac.uk/?p=188 – Google API changes
◦    http://walkingthroughtime.eca.ac.uk/?p=190 – Caching – web app fights back
◦    http://walkingthroughtime.eca.ac.uk/?p=193 – One of the last formal meetings
◦    http://walkingthroughtime.eca.ac.uk/?p=205 – lo, the user speaks…
◦    http://walkingthroughtime.eca.ac.uk/?p=209 – Chris’s project Evaluation
◦    http://walkingthroughtime.eca.ac.uk/?p=214 – The Developers speak
◦    http://walkingthroughtime.eca.ac.uk/?p=226 – Chris speaking for the Users