AGU Fall Meeting 2018

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This page contains work related to GRASS GIS presented at Fall Meeting of American Geophysical Union in 2018, Washington, D.C., USA in December 15th-19th, 2014 (

Posters and Presentations

Engaging stakeholders and decision-makers in geosimulations with Tangible Landscape

Engaging stakeholders and decision-makers in geosimulations with Tangible Landscape: Stakeholders interacting with the PoPS model using a tangible interface


  • Authors: Anna Petrasova (1), Devon Gaydos (2), Vaclav Petras (3), Richard Cobb (4), Ross Kendall Meentemeyer (3) and Helena Mitasova (5), (1) North Carolina State University Raleigh, Raleigh, NC, United States, (2) North Carolina State University Raleigh, Center for Geospatial Analytics, Raleigh, United States, (3) North Carolina State University at Raleigh, Raleigh, NC, United States, (4) California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo, United States, (5) North Carolina State Univ, Marine, Earth, and Atmos. Sciences, Raleigh, NC, United States
  • Program entry: PA23G-1071: Engaging stakeholders and decision-makers in geosimulations with Tangible Landscape
  • Presentation format: Poster


  • In the last few decades, geospatial simulations have become increasingly common in scientific research as a method to study complex spatial phenomena, such as urban growth or disease spread, and to effectively prevent or mitigate natural hazards, including flooding or wildfires. Although exploring simulated scenarios can help us predict future demands and risks associated with decisions and policies, geospatial simulations are often not designed for practical use in management. The black box nature and the lack of user-friendly interfaces of simulation tools make them inaccessible for decision makers and stakeholders, leading to a knowledge-practice gap. To address this challenge, we developed a decision support system on top of Tangible Landscape, an open source tangible geospatial modeling platform. By coupling a physical, scaled model of a landscape with powerful geospatial modeling platform, Tangible Landscape allows decision-makers to intuitively modify landscape and perform spatial interventions while instantly visualizing and quantifying the resulting effects. Tangible, spatio-temporal steering of the simulation enhances understanding of simulated processes, communicates uncertainties and builds trust between decision-makers and researchers. As a case study, we are leveraging this novel modeling platform to engage stakeholders involved in the management of a weather-driven plant disease aggressively spreading in California and Oregon. Our results suggest that Tangible Landscape is a promising platform for supporting decisions and building more robust, accurate scientific models.

GRASS GIS: A General-purpose Geospatial Research Tool

Software Citation with Fine Granularity: The g.citation Module for GRASS GIS

Construction of Landscape Level QL2 LiDAR Data Sets for Species Habitat Assessment in Eastern North Carolina

Microtopography and Crop Vigor Changes Assessment Using Time Series of UAS Derived Data

Empirical Characterization of Fire Regimes Across the Globe


Climate conditions, vegetation, fuel type and availability govern the occurence and behavior of fires. Understanding the seasonality, frequency, intensity, and severity of fires is critical for land managers to appropriately manage and plan the landscape and to understand the feedbacks to the Earth system. Fire Regimes are conceptually useful to land managers and are qualitatively understood, but few quantitative techniques exist for empirically delineating geographic regions whose wildfire spatial and temporal characteristics, re-visitation frequency, and intensities are similar.

We consider the extensive and consistent thermal “hotspot” data which are collected globally by the two MODIS sensors during their 17-year orbital history. Such ubiquitous remote sensing data provide an opportunity to produce a quantitative discrimination of different global fire regimes, including tele-connections across hemispheres. We do not filter or remove human-caused fires from wildfires, instead considering and classifying both types of fire regimes holistically. To appropriately address opposing seasonal juxtaposition across northern and southern hemispheres we developed a special transformation of fire dates which allows statistical identification and discrimination of, say, “summer” fires, regardless of the calendar month in which they occurred across the hemispheres. This date transform permits the recognition of similar fire regimes in both the northern and southern hemispheres. On the basis of about twenty descriptive fire characteristics, we produced a series of global maps at multiple levels of fire regime discrimination. By applying principal component analysis, we also visually quantify the degree of similarity among the different global fire regimes and quantitatively identify the characteristics responsible for the similarities or differences.

Geographically distant locations which share similar fire regime characteristics were found; many of these fire “tele-connections” span across different hemispheres. Regularly occurring human-caused Fire Regimes can also be easily identified globally. Locations sharing similar global fire regimes may have similar ecological effects and impacts from fire, and similar management knowledge and successful adaptation strategies might be borrowed, shared, or adopted.

NCSU Booth

NCSU CGA booth with a Tangible Landscape demo
  • North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, United States of America
  • NCSU Center for Geospatial Analytics was promoting NCSU, the center, and its educational programs, especially new PhD program in Geospatial Analytics.
  • A live iterative Tangible Landscape demo was part of the booth.
  • Besides NCSU CGA flyers and stickers, Tangible Landscape and GRASS GIS flyers and stickers were provided because of involvement of NCSU CGA in these projects.
  • Tangible Landscape demos: surface water flow and ponding, planting trees, drainage and contributing area, routing and blocked streets, coastal flooding, HAND
  • NCSU CGA students, postdocs, and faculty were present at the booth.

See also