Sep 292011

The first port of call for explanation or definition of STEEV tool functionality or terminology is this Help page.

We thought it useful to make available contextual information describing both policy scenario, variable.

Thus: here are the Policy Scenarios Descriptions, and here are the Variable Descriptions.

Note: As part of the usability and user testing we shall endeavour to make the variable and policy scenarios description information more explcit for the purposes of informing end use of the tool.

Other Help and Guidance notes:

STEEV Camtasia broadcast – explains and walks users through the functionality and features of the energy efficiency visualisation tool.

Contextual Overview of the STEEV tool

Overview of the Energy and Environment Prediction (EEP) model developed by the Welsh School of Architecture

The STEEV tool uses ‘hover over‘ boxes to provide an explanation about functionality. Use the mouse to hover over the buttons, slider gauge, markings and labels to get further information. Green information buttons provide further details about each scenario.

The Share Link feature on the interface uses a STEEV RESTful API to define a URI representing the value of the model, each variable, the year, the map extents and the map zoom level. This facilitates the sharing of a URL by returning the client to the state when saved.

Printing – Version 1.0 of the STEEV demonstrator does not include a print nor a save map image facility. To print (and edit) a map image created by the demonstrator use the Print Screen button on your keyboard and paste the image in to an image editing package such as PaintShop Pro. Save the map image in the image file format required (JPEG, GIF, WMF, TIF, PNG).

Model Output Value Feature Return functionality: further information about displaying model output values at the individual building level.

Data Download – further information about the raw ASCII Comma Separated Value (CSV) and Keyhole Markup Language (KML) format data file download.

Guidance notes on viewing the Policy Scenario KML files in Google Earth.

Alternatively view the ‘Using the Time Slider bar in Google Earth’ You Tube clip:

YouTube Preview Image
 September 29, 2011  Posted by at 4:09 pm General Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Sep 292011

As we move into the final phases of STEEV thoughts now turn to user testing and usability. OK, so we’ve built a visualisation tool to view time-series energy efficiency variables for a specific geographic area. But just how intuitive is the interface? How easy it is to use, for the practitioner, or for the novice user? What functionality is missing, and what is superfluous?

First step was to meet with the EDINA training officer (who has experience in conducting usability and user testing for EDINA projects and services). It was immediately apparent that work was required in terms of workflow and instruction. A detailed list of requirements has been assembled for implementation.

For the next step in this process we have approached a ‘Usability Expert’ with a view to having an overall look at the tool in terms of features and functionality in order to articulate and finesse possible ambiguities. We hope to have at the end of this process a usability guide detailing both process and outcome and make this available through the STEEV blog.

Our aim is to have conducted this exercise in time for the STEEV/GECO Green Energy Tech Workshop on on 13 October. This will allow practitioners the opportunity to use the tool in earnest whilst providing further feedback from an experts perspective.

Expect a future blog post detailing the results of the extended usability exercise.

Regarding part 2 of the title. OK, so there’s wasn’t a fit between STEEV and Memento. What does fit however, is the deployment of the Google Earth Time Slider to view the policy-based scenarios (as provided by our project partner) for each of the four modelled output over time (namely: SAP Rating, Energy, COs emissions, CO2 emissions based on 1990 levels). Our GI Analyst (Lasma Sietinsone – replacement for Fiona who’s currently on maternity leave) has created a dozen KML files which can be viewed in Google Earth using the Time Slider utility. The KML files can be downloaded from

Note: Guidance notes on viewing the KML files in Google Earth are available.

Alternatively view the ‘Using the Time Slider bar in Google Earth’ You Tube clip:

YouTube Preview Image
 September 29, 2011  Posted by at 3:27 pm General Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  No Responses »
Sep 282011

The programme for the GECO / STEEV Green Energy Tech Workshop to be held at the Edinburgh Centre for Climate Change on 13 October is now available (see URL:

Our aim was to have a full yet varied set of presentations from the academic, public and private sector around the central theme of ‘energy efficiency and the building’. Feel free to forward the Eventbrite link to colleagues. Places are limited to please be sure to sign up soon!

Please get in contact for further information:

 September 28, 2011  Posted by at 1:58 pm General Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Sep 092011

Further to the earlier post, plans are progressing for a Green Energy Tech workshop organsied in conjunction with the GECO project. The half-day event will be held on Thursday 13 October (pm) at the Edinburgh Centre for Climate Change, a new initiative which aims to foster collaborative working between policy, community and business leaders to support and deliver workable solutions for a low carbon future (

Our aim is to bring together a range of participants from the public sector, industry, and academia working in the areas of green energy technologies, renewables, carbon reduction, energy efficiency etc. with a primary focus on tools or utilities that could be used to engage a wide range of stakeholders including policy makers.

We have a number of confirmed speakers however we’d also be interested to hear of any other initiatives of a similar nature that may wish to use such an event as a platform for outreach and discussion.

Please get in contact for further information:

 September 9, 2011  Posted by at 11:36 am General Tagged with: , , , , ,  1 Response »