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A grid-based collaborative virtual geographic environment for the planning of silt dam systems

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To improve the efficiency of planning and designing silt dam systems, this article employs theories and technologies of collaboration and distributed virtual geographic environments (VGEs) to construct a collaborative virtual geographic environment (CVGE) system. The CVGE system provides geographically distributed users with a shared virtual space and a collaborative platform to implement collaborative planning. Many difficulties have been found in integrating data resources and model procedures for the planning of silt dam systems because of their diversity in heterogeneous environments. Unlike most of the current distributed system applications, the proposed CVGE system not only supports multi-platform and multi-program-language interoperability in the dynamically changing network environment, but also shares programs, data and software in the collaborative environment. Based on creating a shared 3D space by virtual reality technology, agent and grid technologies were tightly coupled to develop the CVGE system. A grid-based multi-agent system service framework was designed to implement this new paradigm for the CVGE system, which efficiently integrates and shares geographically distributed resources as well as having the ability to build modelling procedures on different platforms. At the same time, mobile agent computing services were implemented to reduce the network load, process parallel tasks, enhance communication efficiency and adapt dynamically to the changing network environment. Using Java, JMF (Java Media Framework API), Globus Toolkits (GT) core, Voyager, C++, and the OpenGL development package, a prototype system was developed to support silt dam systems planning in the case study area, the Jiu-Yuan-Gou watershed of the Loess Plateau, China. Compared with the traditional workflow, the CVGE system can reduce the workload by between one third and a half.
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Keywords: collaborative virtual geographic environment; grid service; mobile agent; planning; silt dam systems

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Space and Earth Information Science, The Chinese University, Hong Kong, China 2: Institute of Space and Earth Information Science, The Chinese University, Hong Kong, China,Surveying Engineering Department, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu, China 3: State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Institute of Remote Sensing Applications, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China 4: Surveying Engineering Department, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu, China

Publication date: April 1, 2010

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