Sixth Symposium on the Urban Environment


Prospectus on national database of high resolution buildings and other urban data for advanced model applications

Jason Ching, NOAA, Research Triangle Park, NC; and D. J. Williams, S. Burian, and R. Fry

This overview offers a prospectus for a specialized database populated with urban information and a framework to facilitate its dissemination and usage with web-based data access tools. Nation-wide in scope, the database would serve a broad user community engaged in (a) developing and driving advanced transport, dispersion and air quality modeling tools, (b) designing and performing improved decision support assessments for reducing health risk due to exposure to poor air quality, and (c) addressing homeland security issues for situations involving toxic agent releases in major urban areas in the United States.

This prospectus includes a rationale for the database, its constituent components, and a prototype framework for archiving and accessing of the data. For the rationale, we identify and briefly discuss (a) advancements in meteorological and dispersion models applicable to urban situations; (b) the emergence of high-resolution morphological data and daughter products to drive these advanced models; (c) IT systems and techniques capable of handling the current large and growing volumes of data, and the current and growing diversity in types of data; and, (d) examples of current and future applications of increased complexities.

Examples of constituent data include (a) advanced geo- and anthro- morphological data at high spatial resolution, including buildings, vegetation, terrain features and urban canopy parameters for driving the models (e.g., collections of remotely sensed high resolution airborne LIDAR data from the data holdings of the National Geospatial Agency (NGA), earth science data from space-borne satellite systems using web server data provisioning technologies, and other urban model relevant datasets; (b) population demographics and temporal activity data; and, (c) energy usage. A prototype developed for Houston is introduced to illustrate these points, which may provide a template for extension to other urban areas.

Disclaimer: The research presented here was performed under the Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and under agreement number DW13921548. Although it has been reviewed by EPA and NOAA and approved for publication, it does not necessarily reflect their policies or views.


Session 5, Urban Modeling Database Development
Wednesday, 1 February 2006, 8:30 AM-12:15 PM, A316

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