This blog post provides an overview of the work that will be undertaken, and is structured into a series of interdependent work packages (WPs). They indicate the main areas of work that are being proposed. It should be noted that output from WP3 and WP4 will be shaped by the iterative nature of WP2.
The geoservices team at EDINA have recently been trialling SCRUM based approaches to Agile development. This has received positive feedback from the development teams and has also been well received by project management staff. Building on these successful experiences we would plan to adopt a SCRUM methodology in this project with a focus on short sprint and iterative
(Note: Zoom to view)
WP 1 – Project Management and Programme Engagement
Description of Work – This work package covers all aspects of managing the project, from initiation, through managing project stages and stage transition to closure. Initiation will include the setting up of project website, blog and wiki as required, tools for managing scheduling, risks and communication. This Work Package also includes reporting and Engagement (aligned with WP5) throughout the project, including input into the Community Synthesis. This ensures the Project Manager has control of required reporting from each work package, as well as the holistic project reporting required at initiation and closure and a facility for wider dissemination of activities.
· Project website; wiki and blog
· Input into Community Synthesis.
· Programme reporting and project management documentation
WP 2 – Data Modelling, Data Preparation and Data Import
Description of Work – This WP will focus on generating the individual building-level energy efficiency estimates on an annual basis for the regional area forming the Cardiff research teams area of study. Each building (which will be mapped to an individual Ordnance Survey feature via a Topographical Object Identifier (TOID)), will have a number of estimated values based on variable parameter inputs (e.g. dimensions of the property, thermal efficiency of the building construction, the type of heating systems used, and renewable energy technologies) and these will provide the basis for generating the regional visualisations under different policy assumptions. It is these raw values that will provide the capacity to undertake subsequent sensitivity analysis investigating the regional impacts of varying input assumptions and forecasts. The modelled data will be supplied by Cardiff to EDINA for import and validation into a database schema designed to allow the establishment of temporal Web Map Services (WMS-T). WP3 and WP4 will then exploit the modelled data to provide a user client that allows interactive visual data exploration.
. A database (EEP) of building-level energy efficiency coefficients for 2000-2050 for a large sample area within South East Wales.
· A database schema for exposing the EEP model outputs via a WMS-T (see WP3)
WP 3 – Establishment of Temporal Web Map Services and Memento geo-Timegate
Description of Work – The purpose of this work is to create the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Map Services (WMS) required to support the development of the web client at WP4. The standard WMS configuration (of which EDINA has significant and relevant experience in building and operating – see e.g. OpenStream4), will need to be extended to handle the temporal aspects of incoming requests. A WMS server can provide support to temporal requests by providing a TIME parameter with a time value in the request. We will use an open source WMS implementation of the web map server technology (probably Mapserver5) in order to add temporal support. This WP will work in close conjunction with WP2 as the optimal data configuration for the EEP data will need to be iteratively determined. Once a WMS-T has been established we will then produce Tile Cached versions of the data which are capable of having a URI assigned to them. Tile Caching provides a way to constrain WMS requests to a predefined grid, so that clients can
request data that has been pre-rendered or rendered on the fly and then cached. Delivering cached map imagery can reduce image load times by as much as one or even two orders of magnitude. Rendering map imagery on the fly for every WMS request typically requires profound hardware resources to scale well and additionally by Caching we are able to use the Cached image location as a URI through which Memento mediated time requests can be resolved.
This WP also deals with developing the Memento server implementation, extending it to incorporate a ‘geo-Timegate’ that is capable of handling what may be termed ‘Web time ‘ and ‘Content time’ requests (Van de Sompel 20106). Memento proposes a technical framework aimed at better integrating the current and the past Web. The framework adds a time dimension to the HTTP protocol and introduces the notion of transparent content negotiation in the date-time dimension. The framework also suggests a generic approach for versioning Web resources that could help bootstrap a variety of novel, temporal Web applications such as is being proposed here. Memento has thus far remained in the domain of ‘Web time’, meaning it refers to the state of resources on the web as is and is logically restricted to ‘near contemporary’ resources. Content time is conceptually different and e.g. allows us to talk about the City of London in 1645 or in 2050. Memento has as yet not explored application to ‘Content time’. Therefore, another novel feature of this proposal is that it will investigate the conceptual and practical issues between ‘Web’ and ‘Content’ time views.
· A WMS delivering the EEP/OS MasterMap data visualisations;
· A WMS-T allowing temporal navigation;
· Tile Cached versions of the above allowing direct URI mapping to resources;
· A Memento geo-Timegate and proxy allowing translation of Memento requests into WMS-T ones.
· An evaluation report detailing our experiences with ‘Web’ and ‘Content’ time.
Note: After discussion Herbert van de Sompel Herbert didn’t see any purposeful use case involving STEEV and Memento which could add to the functionality of the visualisation tool. Memento can be implemented (by linking to unique or presistent URIs generated by the tool) however this will not however showcase Memento’s temporal sweep through web-content (as highlighted on BBC/CNN content) as intended by its originators (for further information see blog posting: http://steev.blogs.edina.ac.uk/2011/08/09/project-update/).
An additional workpackage (WP6) has been proposed in lieu of WP3.
WP 4 – Development of Web Client
Description of Work – The primary purpose of this WP is to draw the outputs from earlier WPs together into a user presentation layer. We envisage an OpenLayers based mapping client that is routed via the geo-Timegate to access the WMS-T. The job of the client is to marshal, in a user friendly manner, the various request parameters needed to allow users to stipulate queries of the sort ‘ visualise me the consequences of making assumptions X about energy efficiency policies at time Y in the geographical extent of Z’. Our client will allow access to the various modelled outputs and may also (resource permitting) allow for some form of user defined portrayal and/or annotation of the results so that stakeholders can experiment with alternative visualisations and exchange views on the presented scenarios. If resources permit we would also look to investigating how to expose the WMS-T into Google Earth directly and being able to capitalise on the use of the GE time-slider.
· A Web Client (OpenLayers based) allowing user interaction and visualisation of the modelled outputs under variable input scenarios
· Potentially, demonstration of the outputs, visualised and temporally query-able in a Google Earth client.
WP 5 – Outreach, Evaluation and Reporting
Description of Work – the purpose of this WP is initially, to crystallise the user requirement needs of the research group and stakeholder community prior to commencing development. Whilst the research problem is already specified, the intent is to have independent validation from a larger stakeholder community to ensure that deliverables meet the expectations of as wide a user community as possible. To conserve resources, this engagement will be via virtual means and will exploit social media channels. Secondly, to inform the development of the client in light of comment and feedback from end-users and interested stakeholders. We anticipate at least three distinct audiences – (i) the conventional ‘geo’ community, familiar with web mapping (but likely less familiar with temporal WMS); (ii) the growing community interested in use cases for Memento; and (iii) the specific research group (Cardiff) and the wider energy efficiency research community (RETROFIT) to whom the project is likely to have a novel appeal.
· User needs requirements/ problem and issue refinement.
· Feedback on the demonstrator and associated deliverables
· Workshop and conference attendance to elicit stakeholder feedback
· A critical appraisal of the approach from each of the three audiences listed above
WP 6 – Establishment of Small Area Data Viewer
Description of Work – the purpose of this workpackage is to implement a ‘feature return’ functionality at the polygon level as part of user presentation layer.
. A configuration file for STEEV WFS in order to query individual buildings.
. Compilation of WMS to accommodate functionality.