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Biodiversity and Ecosystem Informatics: The Eco Flight Simulator: Visualizing landscape patterns, ecosystem processes and biodiversity information using flight simulator technology      (Back to Search Results)

Grant Number: 131924

  • Description: Standard Grant
  • Associated Project:
  • Award Date: 2001-09-06
  • Award Period: 2001-09-01 to 2003-08-31
  • Amount: $ 97563.00

Primary Investigator:
Robert Stevenson

Robert Stevenson


Government Domain:
Natural Resource Management

Primary Institution:
U of Massachusetts Boston

Project Home Page:

Latest Project Highlight:

EIA-0131924 Stevenson, Robert University of Massachusetts - Boston. BDEI: The Eco Flight Simulator: Visualizing landscape patterns, ecosystem processes and biodiveresity information using flight simulator technology Summary This proposal develops the Eco Flight Simulator a system for visualizing landscape patterns, ecosystem processes and biodiversity data. Many state and federal agencies are currently gathering large amounts of spatial data via aerial photographs and satellite imagery that can be used for seeing the landscape (distribution and location of habitats, size of habitat fragments, the relationships among political and ecosystem boundaries), the analysis of ecosystem processes (water cycling, nutrient cycling, pollution movement) and biodiversity issues (habitat types, population of invasive species, species interactions, etc.). For the most part these data are currently presented in the form of maps using GIS software. The view is static and the data displayed are static (but see the USGS's National Map Initiative). However, flight simulator technologies, developed first for the military and now common in the entertainment industry, offer a much better visualization technology - a user defined birds eye view of the landscape that can include the spatio-temporal complexity of the environment. Using standard off the shelf hardware, open source software and public domain data, marine (Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary in the Gulf of Maine) and terrestrial flight simulations (Ipswich and Parker River Watersheds of Essex County Massachusetts) (one simulator) are developed that present environmental information in new ways.