GIS Platforms for Managing, Accessing and Integrating Model Results: The Tyndall Coastal Simulator Experience
The Tyndall Coastal Simulator comprised a wide range of modelling activities across disciplines and institutions. This activity generated diverse results, described in the preceding chapters. Organising this body of knowledge into a coherent and accessible form for use by stakeholders and for additional ad hoc analyses emerged as a substantial task in its own right.
This chapter reflects upon the process of designing, developing and demonstrating a user-orientated ‘interface’ – a geographic information system (GIS) coupled with coastal models – allowing users to explore results of the research and interactions between them (Mokrech et al. 2011). The process of integration was led by the project team, with input from a group of external stakeholders who were given opportunities to learn about and test the interface. This interaction helped to give practical context in the identification of broad questions at the beginning of the project and the detailed questions that emerged during the research process – particularly around integration and user potential.
Two interfaces, built upon the same technology, are presented. Both involved the organisation of model results, metadata and additional documentation into a library that can be accessed and queried and developing effective visualisations that meet user needs and requirements. The Norfolk interface development highlights the important role an interface can play in providing a focus for integration and discussion within the research team about how to bring together complex systems analyses. Furthermore, it provided a core platform for stakeholder engagement including using the visualisations described in Chap. 10 and the stakeholder engagement in Chap. 12. The interface developed for the Hampshire case study outputs further demonstrates the potential of such tools by incorporating probabilistic and ‘outcome-based’ models into a GIS platform.
The development process also highlighted broader possibilities for developing future integrated frameworks that are multi-scale and capable of linking various models in order to simulate complex coastal processes in ways that answer management questions and stakeholder needs. Finally, limitations of the current interfaces, and the future opportunities for development possible with emerging technologies, such as web-based approaches, are considered.
KeywordsGeographic information system User interface Integration Stakeholder engagement Data management
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