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Integrating Environmental Models with GIS: An Object-oriented Approach Utilising a Hierarchical Data Format (HDF) Data Repository

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Conceptual, as well as operational, aspects need to be taken into account when developing an integrated modelling framework. A set of achievable requirements has been identified which are used to realise a solution that is applied to the modelling of ephemeral flood channels. The solution described provides: (1) a common data repository within which all model run details, scientific data sets and output results reside; (2) the ability to interactively visualise and select suitable data sets from the data repository to configure the model; (3) an interface for mediating the flow of information between model and other applications; and (4) the possibility to allow model functionality and associated data to be made available to the wider scientific community. This is achieved using an object-oriented approach within the Research System Inc. Interactive Data Language (IDL) and the adoption of National Center for Supercomputer Application's HDF as a common file format for modelling scenarios. The paper outlines the development of a class library, EM_HDF, for mediating and facilitating data exchange between the model and its HDF data repository. The developed system is designed to be applicable to a wide range of modelling applications beyond the fluvial model described.

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: University of Portsmouth

Publication date: June 1, 2000


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