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An interactive data visualization framework for exploring geospatial environmental datasets and model predictions

October 20, 2020
With the rise of large-scale environmental models comes new challenges for how we best utilize this information in research, management and decision making. Interactive data visualizations can make large and complex datasets easier to access and explore, which can lead to knowledge discovery, hypothesis formation and improved understanding. Here, we present a web-based interactive data visualization framework, the Interactive Catchment Explorer (ICE), for exploring environmental datasets and model outputs. Using a client-based architecture, the ICE framework provides a highly interactive user experience for discovering spatial patterns, evaluating relationships between variables and identifying specific locations using multivariate criteria. Through a series of case studies, we demonstrate the application of the ICE framework to datasets and models associated with three separate research projects covering different regions in North America. From these case studies, we provide specific examples of the broader impacts that tools like these can have, including fostering discussion and collaboration among stakeholders and playing a central role in the iterative process of data collection, analysis and decision making. Overall, the ICE framework demonstrates the potential benefits and impacts of using web-based interactive data visualization tools to place environmental datasets and model outputs directly into the hands of stakeholders, managers, decision makers and other researchers. 

Citation Information

Publication Year 2020
Title An interactive data visualization framework for exploring geospatial environmental datasets and model predictions
DOI 10.3390/w12102928
Authors Jeffrey D Walker, Benjamin Letcher, Kirk D. Rodgers, Clint C. Muhlfeld, Vincent S. D'Angelo
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Water
Index ID 70215759
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Leetown Science Center; Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center; Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center