Visualisation of open-source data (OpenEarth-Viewer)

Type: Web Application

Project Phase: Planning and Design

Purpose: Visualising data via Web interface

Requirements: Google Chrome / Firefox / Explorer

Relevant Software: Mapbox / Google Earth




OpenEarth data and models can be visualised in a web application that is regulary updated (2020). The set-up is such that data and models from different projects and cases can be viewed at the same time, which enables the user to see the interaction between different datasets and model results. Within Building with Nature (BwN), this application has been used in the past to gain an easily accessible overview of the information that is generated in the program. However, the setup can also be used for data management in other projects.

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In (hydraulic) engineering studies and research and monitoring programs, many data, models and tools are collected and/or developed. The amount of information that is becoming available in this way is not always easily accessible for its users (i.e. project teams, program partners, clients, stakeholders). GoogleEarth based data and models that EcoShape has developed facilitate data management and visualisation in projects. GoogleEarth-based visualisation links to an OpenDAP sever where all data are stored, and a kml server where the visualisations are stored - following the OpenEarth principles. 


Building with Nature interest

One of the three principle  eco-dynamic development & design principles of Building with Nature is to interact differently"Realisation of Building with Nature projects cannot be achieved without interdisciplinary collaboration and early and active stakeholder involvement!". Bringing together people and knowledge from different disciplines (and hence different working methods) puts high demands on data management and dissemination. In order to meet those demands, Building with Nature has adopted the OpenEarth infrastructure for its data management. GoogleEarth based visualisation can be seen as an extension of this infrastructure, meant to facilitate accessible dissemination of information to end-users, which includes both Building with Nature partners and other stakeholders.


How to Use

GoogleEarth based visualisation can be accessed with GoogleEarth desktop application installed in your machine. From there, .kml files in the kml server can be accessed or new .kml files can be generated with the help of OpenEarthTools. A web viewer for the visualisation of Rijkswaterstaat BnO-kust data and a web-viewer for Sand Motor data are currently under development.

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Recommendations, Limitations and Lessons Learned

Users are generally familiar with Google Earth and its visualisations have proven to be useful to disseminate data & model results that are changing in both space and time. Other viewers, such as Mapbox, NHI Data Portaal, Coast viewer or Deltares Data portaal, are available that also support the visualisation for other data formats.



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Other viewers