Higher-dimensional GIS, introducing PCRaster 3

Workshop to be held at the AGILE 2011 conference, Utrecht University, the Netherlands

Date: Monday, April 18th, 2011

Location: GIS room, 4th floor of the van Unnikbuilding, Heidelberglaan 2, de Uithof University campus, Utrecht. For details, see the Agile 2011 conference site.

Description: Most GIS software packages are built around the concept of attribute information in two spatial dimensions. To represent time series of data and forward simulations in GIS it is needed to represent the time dimension in data and functions. Moreover, for dealing with uncertainty in spatial data, it is required to add a fourth dimension representing stochastic attributes. Although conceptual models for multi dimensional GIS have been extensively described, the number of tools that can deal with multiple dimensions is still limited.

In this workshop we address this need and will introduce the recently released PCRaster Version 3 software that incorporates data structures, data analysis functions and visualization routines for 5 dimensions, i.e. for stochastic spatio-temporal data. The workshop will include a number of short presentations dealing with concepts and theory combined with short computer labs to introduce you to the software.

The objectives are to discuss recent developments and research needs in the field of higher-dimensional GIS and to get a quick practical introduction to the PCRaster Version 3 software. Case studies will include examples from human and physical geography. With this workshop we hope to contribute to dissemination of research results in higher dimensional GIS. The workshop may result in a joint research paper with workshop participants.

Subscription information & AGILE conference information is available at:  http://www.uu.nl/faculty/geosciences/EN/agile2011



9.30-11.00 am

  • Constructing models in PCRaster Python. Speaker: Derek Karssenberg

11.30 am – 1 pm

  • Hands-on PCRaster Python: Spatio-temporal modelling. Computer labs PCRaster Python. Selection from the dynamic modelling exercises; recommended sections 1, 2, 3, 4 (if time allows).


2 pm – 3.30 pm

  • Short presentations by workshop participants on higher-dimensional GIS, discussion
  • Stochastic modelling (and error propagation modelling) with PCRaster Python. Speaker: Derek Karssenberg (appr. 30 minutes)
  • Visualizing model data with Aguila. Speaker: Kor de Jong (appr. 15 minutes)

4 pm – 5.30 pm:

  • Hands-on PCRaster Python: Stochastic modelling. Computer labs PCRaster Python. Selection from the stochastic modelling exercises; recommended sections 1, 2, 3, 4 (if time allows).

Preparing for the workshop

Participants are asked to prepare a 5 minute presentation discussing future requirements of higher-dimensional GIS (you may want to relate to your own research and/or more general requirements of importance for the GIS/modelling community). If you prepare slides, please use Microsoft Powerpoint or PDF. We can use these presentations to discuss future research directions (afternoon session).

For the hands-on part of the workshop, it would be advantageous (not required) if you have some background in Python programming. For a quick introduction we recommend the Think Python book.