3.1 Radar Toolkit for ArcGIS – Bringing Easy Radar Data Processing to Geographers

Tuesday, 12 January 2016: 11:00 AM
Room 225 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Jingyin Tang, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL; and C. J. Matyas

Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) radar network provides high-resolution ground observation for past twenty years. As radar data are spatially bounded to their position, usage of GIS in radar data analytics shows efficiency and benefits in past research. But lack of convenient methods to load, visualize and process radar data in GIS software brings difficulties to non-radar professionals.

In order to make the data more accessible to both meteorological and non-meteorological communities, a GIS extension named Radar Tooklit for ArcGIS is developed. This tools aims to three general goals. The first goal is to simplify common task with radar data. Radar Toolkit for ArcGIS provides one-click procedures for: loading geospatial dataset related to WSR-88D radar; ordering Level-II and Level-III data from National Climate Data Center (NCDC); download, manage and visualize ordered data. The second goal is to allow non-professional user manipulate radar data without understanding technical details. Radar Toolkit for ArcGIS allows visualizing both radial and gridded products under geographically projected map, execute quality-control algorithms like dealiasing and attenuation correction, mosaicking multi-radar observation and etc. through simple clicking in toolboxes. The last goal is to enhance ability of radar data analyses with large number of spatial analytic functions: users could apply any capable “geoprocessing” function provided by ArcGIS on radar data. A set of “Arcpy”-styled programming interfaces in Python are also provided to allow user integrated Radar Toolkit in their own geospatial models.

Radar Toolkit for ArcGIS is majorly implemented with Python scripts. Integration with ArcGIS is programmed in C# and .NET Framework as a toolbar add-in. Radar Toolkit for ArcGIS supports multiple data formats by adopting multiple open-source projects including Py-ART, wradlib, Weather Climate Toolkit and GDAL. To handle the nature of large volume of radar data, parallelized background execution is designed. Besides, portion of functions in Radar Toolkit could also be executed on Linux with an optional standalone user interface provided. Radar Toolkit for ArcGIS is also open-source and contributes are extremely welcome.

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