GEOvisualization Techniques Using the Esri JavaScript API

You’re probably thinking, “You built a what???”.

Well, you are either asking that because you aren’t familiar with GEOvisualization  or you aren’t familiar with Esri’s JavaScript API.

Here is a quick summary of both. Airports receive grants to insulate homes within certain noise contours surrounding an airport to minimize the noise impact of planes landing and taking off. So, noise mitigation data is used to manage these types of programs. Esri has an API that lets GIS developers create mapping applications that tap into data, such as noise mitigation data, and show it in an easy to consume map.

GEO Jobe currently builds robust property search applications used by tax assessor around the country to view data related to parcels. We took sames principals and applied them to noise mitigation data. As part of a project for Alexandria International Airport (AEX), I used this knowledge of mapping property related data to create an application that allows the user to visually examine noise data, simply represented as different colors on a map.

GEOvisualization of AEX Noise Mitigation Project Phases

Phase GEOvisualization
GEOvisualization of project phases within their noise mitigation project.

Not only does this allow the user to view their data in a clear, concise, and headache free way, it also allows the user to better analyze their data.

There are many different ways to view data. Some people prefer to read it from text, while others prefer to have data presented to them by a peer.  Some of us do not have the luxury of having data presented to us by our peers, and/or do not care to cipher through pages upon pages of written data.

So, we have done something different. We have written an application to present your data to you, without the need of someone explaining it to you first. Think interactive infographic. All the advantages of an infographic, with the added bonus of viewing different, interactive data sets that are specified by the user. The way our app presents data, guides the user in their data exploration.

One way noise data is collected is by DNL (Day-Night Sound Level), which is based on sound levels measured in relative intensity of sound, or decibels. Here is a closer view of the DNL sound levels being categorized with colors.

GEOvisualization of Day-Night noise level (DNL) around AEX Airport

DNL GEOvisualization
GEOvisualization of Day-Night noise level (DNL) around AEX Airport

According to what the user would like to see, we can filter through data that relates to parcels on a particular map, then use that data to create visualizations, and symbolize the appropriate polygon using colors that correlate with a legend for the application. For instance a user could choose to quickly see the year a certain parcel was treated by the program, what decibel noise level a parcel falls in, or what phase of the program the parcel was treated. By doing this we present the user with a product that is not only easy on the eyes, but is also very accurate and functional.

Additionally, we give the user a variety of tools for visualizing and analyzing data.

A few examples of what the user can do:

  • View multiple layers on the same map.
  • View specific attributes for a particular parcel.
  • Utilize different base maps to get a better operating picture.
  • Quickly view the parcel on Google StreetView and Bing Bird’s Eye.
  • View existing tax assessor data related to the parcel.

You can take a look at it in action below, just click the link and select “Visualize By Noise Data” in the left panel. Thanks for reading.

Click Here to See it in Action


Jesse Malley is an Application Developer for GEO Jobe. Follow him on Twitter: @Jesse_Malley

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