NCSU GeoForAll Lab
NCSU OSGeo Research and Education Laboratory


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    Tangible Landscape (formerly TanGeoMS)

    Tangible Landscape (formerly known as TanGeoMS) is a collaborative modeling environment for analysis of terrain changes. We couple a scanner, projector and a physical 3D model with GRASS GIS. We can analyze the impact of terrain changes by capturing the changes on the model, bringing them into the GIS, performing desired analysis or simulation and projecting the results back on the model. We develop Tangible Landscape as a collection of free and open source software where GRASS GIS plays a major role as an analytical tool.

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    Multidimensional geovisualization in GRASS GIS

    We are developing geovisualization methods to analyze landscape evolution through time and space. We apply space-time cube approach to visualize evolving elevation contours as isosurfaces with additional attribute expressed by color. Additionally, we animate dynamic processes including water flow, sediment transport and fire spread, and project them on physical models in our TanGeoMS environment. As for our study sites, we focus on rapidly changing landscapes, such as the Jockey's Ridge on the Outer Banks, NC. We extensively use GRASS GIS both for modeling and for analytical 3D visualizations and animations.

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    GIS-based soil erosion/deposition modeling

    We develop GIS-based tools and applications for modeling erosion and deposition patterns in complex landscapes. We use the models to map areas with high erosion and deposition potential providing information for sustainable land use management. We also provide support for erosion modeling used in simulations of coupled human-natural systems.

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    Terrain dynamics analysis using voxel models and lidar data time series

    We develop visualization and analytics tools to provide insight into short term evolution of landscapes with rapidly changing topography. We use space-time cube concept to visualize elevation contour evolution as isosurfaces and investigate spatial patterns of space-time gradients.

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    Coastal dynamics and sustainability

    We analyze and visualize barrier island terrain dynamics using time series of lidar data. We have developed set of metrics that quantifies short term sand redistribution, shoreline evolution and sand dune migration. Our GIS-based methods provide tools for mapping barrier island vulnerability to storm surge and to extract important terrain features used as inputs for coastal process simulations.

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    GRASS GIS Graphical User Interface

    We are actively contributing to the GRASS GIS GUI by adding and improving visualization tools and maintaining the present code. We get feedback from students using the software during the classes as well as from GRASS GIS user community.

    GRASS GIS GUI development includes Python programming with wxPython graphical toolkit.

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    GIS-based fire spread modeling

    We use GRASS GIS wildfire toolbox to simulate fire spread based on terrain, available fuel and wind.

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    GRASS GIS functionality testing

    Besides manual testing of GRASS GIS functionality we also do automatic testing. We develop testing framework, tests and we also run the tests in automated way.