Automated Information System w/Virtual Earth
Motivation: Because we live in a port town, and view the waterfront as part of
our backyard, we were interested in showing how spatial technologies can leverage and
capture detailed information and real time movement for each vessel that travels into our
Summary: The Marine Exchange is a member-based, non-profit organization that
provides comprehensive communications and information services to its membership 24 hours
a day, seven days a week. The membership is a mix of Puget Sound based steamship agents
and operators, tug boat operators, ship chandlers, port authorities, and state and federal
agencies along with a wide range of maritime industry support businesses.
The primary role of the Marine Exchange is that of tracking and monitoring vessel movement
activity and sharing this activity information with the membership in a timely manner to
support safe, secure, efficient and environmentally responsible maritime operations.
Information to support this capability is drawn from various sources, including a region-wide
shore-based Automatic Identification System (AIS) capability.
Currently, the Marine Exchange uses a non-visual process to report out on vessel location and
Integral GIS got permission from The Marine Exchange of Puget Sound to tap into their AIS
database to provide an easy, scalable vessel tracking and visualization application. This
application provides Marine Exchange members an intuitive way to track vessels in real-time,
as well as the ability to playback time windows of vessel movements.
Platform: Automated Information System(AIS), Microsoft Virtual Earth(VE),
and Microsoft SQL Server 2008
Motivation: Our prior experiments with real-time vessel information in Puget Sound
(link to earlier project) inspired us to further explore the capabilities of real-time vessel
reporting to include additional geospatial analysis, reports, and geo-fencing (an alert system
that allows you to draw boundaries in space and set alerts to notify you for certain user-defined
Summary: Integral GIS used the additional analytical functionalities available in
application that allows the user to interact with the map interface to further personalize
the capabilities of the application. The application taps into the AIS live data feed to
ensure real time tracking and information updates.
3D Scanning (Architectural and Construction)
Motivation: We wanted to demonstrate how to integrate in situ scanning in an
architectural environment to create 3 Dimensional spatial objects.
Summary: We have been experimenting with 3D scanning (see photos above). The Port of
Tacoma graciously allowed us to scan (using a Cyra scanner) some of the new construction
happening at the Port. Our goal was to scan various architectural features and incorporate
them into an overall GIS for the Port. The scanners collect far more data than a GIS can
easily digest. Because of this, an implementation would need careful planning to rule out
Elk Island Visualization Project (Alberta, Canada)
Motivation: We believe strongly in exploration and self improvement. This project
combined our interest in the outdoors with a demonstration of how geospatial technology can
display change over time using terrain models.
Summary: Integral GIS partnered with The Elk Island National Park to develop
visualizations with GIS for the purpose of creating high-resolution, realistic renderings
of park terrain. These visualizations are useful for exploring historical changes within
the landscape, such as: vegetation, hydrology, fire, animal herbivory, and trail or other
land use development.
This project closely couples GIS and visualization to allow for the interactive and dynamic
exploration of the park through teaching, research, and park management.
Platform: ArcView and ArcGIS 3D Analyst
Motivation: When we received the opportunity to visit the island of Thera
(Santorini), Greece to map the Minoan living surface we couldn’t turn it down!
Summary: In May of 1999, a multidisciplinary group of experts in the fields of
Volcanology, Geology, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and Geographic Information
Systems (GIS) conducted experiments with the goal of mapping the Minoan living surface
buried under volcanic material from an eruption in 1500 BC on the island of Thera
All of the data managed by GIS and GPS technology facilitated the process of determining
the Minoan living surface. Previous work in this field has made limited use of the
combination of GIS and GPS. However, a unique component to this project was the use
of the Trimble GPS Pathfinder® Pro XRS Receiver. The GPS unit collected information
used to map island infrastructure, aid in the production of island digital elevation
models, and establish the location and elevation of GPR surveys. This control was critical
in the establishment of the paleotopography.
Platform: GPS Pathfinder® Pro XRS Receiver, ArcView 3.x, and ArcGIS 3D Analyst
World Construction Set and Visual Nature Studio
Motivation: Fun and Exploration. We were interested in demonstrating alternative uses
of GIS data in other environments.
Summary: We have been working with World Construction Set for the last couple of years,
and more recently, Visual Nature Studio. Visual Nature Studio represents a significant step
towards a higher-fidelity visual experience, yet maintains many of the things that we love
about GIS, such as database connectivity, dynamic symbology, and spatial analysis.
Platform: World Construction Set
3D GIS Integration of Highly Accurate Subaquatic Data
Motivation: We wanted to show how GIS can be used to model under water habitats and life forms.
Summary: BioSonics, Inc. partnered with Integral GIS to integrate and visualize data
collected by their hydroacoustic equipment into 2D and 3D views. BioSonics, Inc. is a
consulting, engineering, and manufacturing firm that specializes in the use of hydroacoustics
for aquatic environmental assessments. BioSonics wanted to partner with us to help them develop
a product they could sell to interested customers, such as the Department of Fish and Game.
Prior to this project, BioSonics had no clear methodology for integrating hydroacoustic data
into GIS for analysis and visualization. Bringing data into GIS presents the opportunity to
leverage it against other data and view it in a more robust context. This data integration
process would provide BioSonics customers a greater analytical and visualization platform for
their data. For example, they could model seasonal changes in fish or plant life and demonstrate
how human factors may impact the environment.
Researchers now have an optimal tool for aquatic environmental assessments. For more information
on GIS capabilities with BioSonics echo sounders, please visit: http://www.biosonicsinc.com/gis
Platform: ArcMap, ArcScene, and ArcGIS Spatial Analyst