CERC — Environmental Software and Services

Web platforms

CERC develop innovative web platforms to present information to a range of audiences including the general public, scientists and policy makers. We develop web platforms as part of our smart city research, for instance the QCumber-EnvHealth decision-making tool for urban health and policy evaluation. We make research products available through state-of-the-art web platforms; for example we created the CARBONES platform for carbon cycle data. We also provide air quality forecasts to the public through platforms such as airTEXT.

QCumber-EnvHealth: a new integrated decision-making tool for urban health and policy evaluation

In the QCumber-EnvHealth project CERC have created a unique platform for health policy and decision-making relating to inequality. The initial public platform for Glasgow is based on integration of existing open data (for instance from Glasgow Data Launchpad and Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics) and new health-related social behaviour data. The air pollution model ADMS-Urban has been set up for Glasgow and linked to these datasets.

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CARBONES web platform for carbon cycle data

CARBONES Google Earth screen shot image

(Click to enlarge)

CERC created an advanced web platform (www.carbones.eu) for displaying carbon cycle data from the EU FP7 project CARBONES. The science component of the project produced a global reanalysis of carbon fluxes and pools over a twenty-year period, which can be used by climate scientists to improve their models. The web platform is entirely based on free and open-source components, and provides the scientific results as highly-interactive maps and graphs. The project uses open data standards such as INSPIRE and netCDF CF (Climate and Forecast conventions). The geoportal has great potential for reuse in other projects, in the carbon cycle and beyond, in particular anywhere where CFnetCDF is used (in atmospheric science, earth science and oceanography). A relatively small amount of development would be needed to adapt it for other projects.

CARBONES Map screen shot image

(Click to enlarge)

The web platform offers the following advanced features in the maps (visit www.carbones.eu and choose Product-Maps):

  • Animations playing directly in the map interface
  • User-editable colour scales for the raster data
  • Export of animations and maps to KML for use in Google Earth
  • PDF creation
  • INSPIRE-compliant view service (WMS)
  • Presents other products for comparison with CARBONES
  • A fluid layout using the whole browser window, splitter controls to allow the user to resize page elements, and a tree control to select the variables with explanatory tooltip balloons
  • Displays over one million map layers from 500GB of data.
  • netCDF CF is an OGC standard. It is the preferred format for this data among the scientific users, so the portal is able to use the same data files created for the scientific end-users.

The following advanced features are present in the time series graphs of spatially-aggregated data (visit www.carbones.eu and choose Product-Time series):

  • Slider control to allow interactive selection of the date range on display
  • PDF creation
  • Data download

Scientific users, including sponsors of web platforms from rival projects, have made very generous comments about the web platform, such as “Congratulations on the great user interface, a dream… an extraordinary way to deliver information” and “The mapping works flawlessly and is very useful. The time series are great and very intuitive”.

For further information on the CARBONES web platform please contact us.

CERC would like to thank the CARBONES project co-ordinator Noveltis and the scientific co-ordinator LSCE. We acknowledge the support of the European Commission through the CARBONES (“30-year re-analysis of CARBON fluxES and pools over Europe and the globe”) project under the 7th Framework Program (contract number 242316).



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