Geo-centric Data Visualisation

In order for any gathered data to have meaning in some context, certain circumstances in which data is being collected, needs to be known. In environmental monitoring applications the absolute geographical location of the collected data is fundamental. So all gathered data can be geo-coded (acquired data is also time tagged). This will enable the analysis of data to be correlated with affecting variables in that vicinity. Thus necessary actions can be taken to tackle any problems.

The amount of collected data in environmental monitoring application tends to be large, which means the amount of data to be viewed and analysed is large, hence it is necessary to summarise data in an effective way so that users can easily extract the useful information for further scrutiny. One of desirable outcomes of the Snout project was to evaluate various methods of representing data. Particularly the use of geo-centric services such as Google map and Google earth were explored for associating sensor readings and their locations. This approach allows the user to follow the path of the mobile device and observe changes in the environment visually. One advantage of this approach is that it gives users a more tangible way to experiment with results and to assess the whole monitored environment in a glance.

Producing useful presentation of gathered data was an aspect of the project outcomes. After all it is the gathered data which users are interested in. If the gathered data can be presented in a meaningful way, valuable information can easily be extracted from the presentation and therefore necessary conclusions can be drawn. Figure 5.2 shows colour coded representation of Carbon monoxide readings in an environment.

Figure 5.2: Carbon monoxide readings.

Jenson Taylor 2008-01-25