Engagement through visualization : sea level rise in the Matanzas River Basin

Material Information

Engagement through visualization : sea level rise in the Matanzas River Basin
Weitekamp, Brad
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
School of Landscape Architecture and Planning, College of Design, Construction and Planning, University of Florida
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
GTM Research Reserve ( local )
Sea level rise ( jstor )
Visual communication ( jstor )
Survey responses ( jstor )


To date, research geared towards the visual preferences of sea level rise tools has been very limited. Through a strong participatory process, as well as a thorough evaluation of existing technology, this study will complete Phase One in what is recommended to be a three-phase process. The visualization tools produced from this study will serve as a catalyst for an engaging public involvement element in later recommended phases, ultimately aiding other coastal areas in sea level rise adaptation planning. This particular study takes place in the Matanzas River Basin, between the cities of St. Augustine, FL and Palm Coast, FL. The Guana Tolomato National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM NERR) is nestled along the coastline in this region and serves as a particular focus of this study, however, the manner in which proper visualization and communication techniques are formed will be documented to serve as part of a transferrable process. This process will serve as a model to be used by other coastal communities and similar NERR locations engaging in sea-level rise resiliency planning.
General Note:
Landscape Architecture terminal project

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
886888282 ( OCLC )


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TABLE OF CONTENTS Dedication _____________________________________________________________1 Acknowledge ments _______________________________________________________2 Abstract _______________________________________________________________3 Chapter I: Intr oduction ____________________________________________________4 Problem Statement ___________________________________________________________ 4 Research Questions and Areas of Focus ___________________________________________ 4 Project Structure _____________________________________________________________ 5 Guiding Prin ciples _________________________________________________________________ 6 Rigo rous Docume ntatio n _______________________________________________________ 6 Use of Existing V isualization and Communi cation To ols _______________________________ 7 Co st Effective ness ____________________________________________________________ 7 Applicable Location for Pilot Testi ng the Process ____________________________________ 8 Chapter II: Litera ture Rev iew _______________________________________________9 Sea Level Rise and Res iliency Pla nning ____________________________________________ 9 Inherent Difficulties in Pl anning for Sea Le vel Rise ________________________________________ 10 Time Horizon of Chang e ______________________________________________________ 10 Lack of Governmental Funding _________________________________________________ 10 Uncertainty of Projected Sea Level Rise __________________________________________ 11 Perceived Risk and Apathy ____________________________________________________ 12 Role of Public Participation in Decision Making _____________________________________ 13 Complex Issues and D isaster Pl anning _________________________________________________ 13 Role of Landscape Architect ___________________________________________________ 14 Chapter III: Research Desi gn and Meth ods ___________________________________ 15 Methodology ______________________________________________________________ 15 Research of Current and Hist orical Visualization and Commu nication Appr oaches _______________ 15 Comparison of Available Approaches and Method s ______________________________________ 16


Development of Visualizatio n and Communicati on Tool s ___________________________________ 16 Identification of Survey Gr oup ______________________________________________________ 17 Survey Deve lopmen t ______________________________________________________________ 17 Analys is ________________________________________________________________________ 18 Compilation of Visualization and Communication Toolbox _________________________________ 18 Context of Study ____________________________________________________________ 18 Sea Level Rise Resear ch Grant Pr oject ________________________________________________ 19 Chapter IV: Technology an d Analysis Su mmary ______________________________ 21 Scientific Data-Based Tools ____________________________________________________ 21 Geographic Information Sy stems (GIS) An alysis _________________________________________ 22 ArcG IS ___________________________________________________________________ 23 Sea Levels Affecting Mars hes Model (S LAMM) _______________________________ 23 Bene fits ________________________________________________________ 24 Limitati ons ______________________________________________________ 25 Sea, Lake and Overland Surges from Hurrcanes (SLOSH) ______________________ 26 Bene fits ________________________________________________________ 26 Limitati ons ______________________________________________________ 27 Hazards United St ates (HAZ US) __________________________________________ 28 Bene fits ________________________________________________________ 28 Limitati ons ______________________________________________________ 28 Bathtub Mapping Produ cts ______________________________________________ 29 Bene fits ________________________________________________________ 29 Limitati ons ______________________________________________________ 29 Climate Cent ral Surging Seas Map __________________________________ 30 Bene fits ___________________________________________________ 30 Limita tions _________________________________________________ 30 MicroDEM ______________________________________________________ 30 Bene fits ___________________________________________________ 30 Limita tions _________________________________________________ 31 NOAA Sea Level Rise and Coasta l Flooding Impacts Viewer _______________ 31 Bene fits ___________________________________________________ 31 Limita tions _________________________________________________ 32 United States Geological Survey (USGS) Sea Level Rise Visualization for Alabama, Miss issippi, and Fl orida ________________________________ 33 Bene fits ___________________________________________________ 33 Limita tions _________________________________________________ 33


Vis ual Nature Studio _________________________________________________________ 34 Benefits _____________________________________________________________ 34 Li mitation s ___________________________________________________________ 35 NASA Sea Level Viewer ______________________________________________________ 35 Benefits _____________________________________________________________ 35 Li mitation s ___________________________________________________________ 36 Google Scient ific Data Base d Produ cts __________________________________________ 36 Google Eart h Produ cts __________________________________________________ 36 Sea Leve l Rise Explorer ___________________________________________ 36 Global Se a Level Rise Map ________________________________________ 37 Topography and Aerial Imagery Da ta Sourc es ____________________________________ 38 NASA Shu ttle Radar Topography Mi ssion (SRTM) Data ________________________ 38 Bene fits ________________________________________________________ 38 Limitati ons ______________________________________________________ 38 USGS Seam less Data Wa rehouse ______________________________________________ 39 Benefits _____________________________________________________________ 39 Li mitation s ___________________________________________________________ 40 NOAA Coastal Services Center Digital Coast Access Viewer __________________________ 40 Benefits _____________________________________________________________ 40 Li mitation s ___________________________________________________________ 41 University of Florida Map and Imagery Library ____________________________________ 41 Non-Scientific Data Based Tools _________________________________________________ 41 Computer Gra phic Too ls ___________________________________________________________ 42 Auto CAD __________________________________________________________________ 42 Benefits _____________________________________________________________ 42 Li mitation s ___________________________________________________________ 43 Go ogle Ske tchUp ___________________________________________________________ 43 Benefits _____________________________________________________________ 44 Li mitation s ___________________________________________________________ 44 Image Editi ng Tool s _______________________________________________________________ 45 Adobe PhotoShop ___________________________________________________________ 45 Benefits _____________________________________________________________ 46 Li mitation s ___________________________________________________________ 46 NOAA CanVis ______________________________________________________________ 46 Benefits _____________________________________________________________ 47 Li mitation s ___________________________________________________________ 47 Rendering Soft ware ______________________________________________________________ 48 Bene fits ___________________________________________________________________ 48 Limitati ons _________________________________________________________________ 48


Time Lapse Seque ncing To ols _______________________________________________________ 49 Wi ndows Movie Maker ______________________________________________________ 49 Benefits _____________________________________________________________ 49 Li mitation s ___________________________________________________________ 50 iMovie ____________________________________________________________________ 50 Benefits _____________________________________________________________ 51 Li mitation s ___________________________________________________________ 51 Miscellaneous Tools _______________________________________________________________ 51 Pers onal Photog raphy _______________________________________________________ 51 Benefits _____________________________________________________________ 51 Li mitation s ___________________________________________________________ 52 Chapter V: Visualization and Communication A pproach ________________________ 54 Associated Responses from Exposure to Visual Stimuli _______________________________ 54 Cognitiv e _______________________________________________________________________ 55 Affective _______________________________________________________________________ 56 Behaviora l ______________________________________________________________________ 56 Needs Assessment for Visualization and Communication Tools _________________________ 57 Graphic Cl arity __________________________________________________________________ 57 Reliabili ty ______________________________________________________________________ 58 Varied Sc ales ___________________________________________________________________ 58 Variety of Sea Level Rise Sce narios __________________________________________________ 59 Address Habi tats _________________________________________________________________ 59 Address Infrast ructure _____________________________________________________________ 60 Identifiable Landmarks or Points of Interest _____________________________________________ 60 Comparison and Selection Process ______________________________________________ 60 Begin with Most Comp lex Comparisons ________________________________________________ 61 Need Based Tool Selecti on _________________________________________________________ 62 Sele cted Tools fo r Use _______________________________________________________ 62 Chapter VI: Tool Selection and Survey Deve lopment __________________________ 65 Visualization and Communication Development for Testing ____________________________ 65 Creation of Visualization and Communication Tool s ______________________________________ 66 NOAA Sea Level Ri se and Coastal Flood ing Impact Map ____________________________ 67 Sea Level Af fecting Marshes Mo del (SLAMM) _____________________________________ 69 Photorealist ic Conceptual Scenarios _____________________________________________ 71


Survey Development _________________________________________________________ 73 Testing Group Identificat ion and Sele ction _____________________________________________ 73 Grant Pr oject Research Team __________________________________________________ 74 Grant Pr oject Steering Committee ______________________________________________ 74 GTM Researc h Reserve Staf f Members __________________________________________ 74 Universit y of Florida Student s __________________________________________________ 75 Testing Tool Meth od Anal ysis________________________________________________________ 75 Development and Pre-Testi ng of Survey Tool ___________________________________________ 76 Ob jectives of Survey ________________________________________________________ 76 Cont ent of Ques tions ________________________________________________________ 77 Stru cture of Qu estion s ________________________________________________________ 78 Stru cture of Su rvey __________________________________________________________ 78 Length of Survey ____________________________________________________________ 79 Pilot Test Surv ey Tool _____________________________________________________________ 79 Finalize Surv ey Tool_______________________________________________________________ 80 Administer Su rvey Tool ____________________________________________________________ 80 Overcoming Ob stacle s ____________________________________________________________ 81 Chapter VII: Survey Resul ts and Anal ysis ___________________________________ 83 Priority of Threats Related to Sea Level Rise ______________________________________ 83 Pre-Survey ______________________________________________________________________ 83 Post-Sur vey _____________________________________________________________________ 85 Priority of Strategies to Address Sea Level Rise ___________________________________ 86 Pre-Survey ______________________________________________________________________ 86 Post-Sur vey _____________________________________________________________________ 87 Identify Level of Urgency _____________________________________________________ 90 Ability to Identify Habitat Change ______________________________________________ 91 Ability to Identify Areas of Sea Level Rise ________________________________________ 94 Identify Variables to Improve Effectiveness of Graphics _____________________________ 97 Effectiveness of Photorealistic Conceptual Sea Level Rise Scenarios ____________________ 97 Ability of Exposure to Imagery to Alter Sense of Urgency ____________________________ 99 Chapter VIII: Future Development of Visualization and Communication Toolbox for Stakehol der Workshops ____________________________ 100 Habitat Loss _____________________________________________________________ 101


Infrastructure _____________________________________________________________ 101 Inundation _______________________________________________________________ 101 Photorealistic Renderings ___________________________________________________ 103 Chapter IX: Co nclusion ________________________________________________ 104 Main Study Findings and Pr oducts for Future Use _________________________________ 104 Literatu re ______________________________________________________________________ 104 Development of Survey Tool fo r Measuring Effe ctiveness _________________________________ 105 Data Analysis of the Role Visualization and Communication Tools Have on Perception and Knowledge ________________________________ 105 Documented Transferrable Proce ss for Planners and Researche rs ___________________________ 105 Enhanced Toolbox for Visual Communi cation of sea Level Ri se _____________________________ 106 Recommendations and Further Steps to be Take n _______________________________________ 106 Continuati on of Phased Projec t ________________________________________________ 106 Use of Advanced Technology as Bu dget Allo ws ___________________________________ 106 Developmen t of Persona Profiles ______________________________________________ 107 Bibliograph y ________________________________________________________ 109 Appendix A: National Wetlands Inventory Classi fications ______________________ 113 Appendix B: Compar ison Matrix _________________________________________ 114 Appendix C: Sa mple Surv ey ____________________________________________ 115


1 Dedication To my eternally supportive wife, Katie and son, James. Without your support, encouragement, and laughter this project would have never been possible.


2 Acknowledgements I would like to begin by thanking my committee on this project, Robert Grist and Kevin Thompson. Your collective assistance, s upport, and guidance throughout this project have truly enriched my ed ucational experience and opened my eyes to the wide possibilities of the role landscape architects can play in global issues of concern. I would also like to thank Dr. Kathryn Frank an d Dr. Dawn Jourdan for bringing me on to work on such a fascinating and importan t grant project with the University of Florida. Your support and guidance throughout this study have made this an experience I w ill always be grateful for. The collection and coordination with the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTMNERR) would have never been possible without the assistance of Mike Shirley and Em ily Montgomery. The willingness and ability to facilitate survey participation with your colleagues enable this study to have a unique perspective taken into account from a well-versed local population. I would also like to thank Chris Lathrop for her guidance in the development of a survey tool to effectively measure perceptio n. Your help in the initial stages was immeasurable in creating a t ool to drive most of the data gathered within this study. Lastly, I would like to thank the entire research team involved with the GTMNERR sea level rise grant project. There are too m any individuals who played a part in this studyÂ’s success to mentio n them all, but I would like to particularly thank Ann Linhoss w hose countless hours producing GIS data allowed me the luxury of testing its effectiveness in many ways that otherwise would not hav e been possible. -Brad Weitekamp


3 Abstract To date, research geared towards the visual preferences of sea level rise tools has been ve ry limited. Through a strong participatory process, as well as a thorough evaluation of existing technology, this study will complete Phase One in what is recommended to be a three-ph ase process. The visualization tools produced from this study will serve as a catalyst for an engaging public involvement element in later recommended phases, ultimately aiding other coastal areas in sea level rise adaptation planning. This parti cular study takes place in the Matanzas River Basin, between the cities of St. Augustine, FL and Palm Coast, FL. The Guana Tolomato National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM NERR) is ne stled along the coastline in this region and serves as a particular focus of this study, however, the manner in which proper visualization and communication techniques are formed will be documented to serve as part of a transferrable process. This process will serve as a model to be used by other coastal communities and similar NERR locations engaging in sea-level ri se resiliency planning. Figure 1: Study area, Matanzas River Basin shown in red


4 I. Introduction Problem Statement Coastal resilience planning and adaptation strategies are just beginning to be used as a tool to mitigate and plan for projected sea level rise and c limate change scenarios. As scientific data related to sea level rise is gathered, the visualization and communication of this data must be developed in a manner to initiate a process to inform community members and leaders on the importance of addressing sea level rise in planning policy. One of the most effective methods to educate and build community consensus in the planning process is through engaging community workshops; however, little research has been conducted to determine effective techniques to visualize and communicate sea level rise in community workshop settings. Currently, research is lacking in how local residents perceive sea level rise in their own communities, a key component in effectively addressing sea level rise in comprehensive planning. Landscape architects are uni quely situated to provide clear visualization and communica tion tools through their ability to blend their expertise in social and ecological sciences. This emerging field of practice will become increasingly important as coastal residents and decision makers must work together to formulate how their communities will adapt and evolve through the ability to accommodate sea level rise. Research Questions and Areas of Focus Perception, as it relates to sea level rise, has limited documented research currently available. Further exploration must be completed to understand what visualization and communication tools are currently available, and how they can best be adapted with the assistan ce of a landscape architect to create an engaging community workshop atmosphere.


5 Given the lack of research into this specific topic the research questions guiding this study are: Through research can we quantify how engaging and effective different visualization and communication tools are in showing the effects of sea level rise? Can specific tools be iden tified for the purpose of generating an engaging, productive atmosphere in sea level rise workshops? Can a method for identifying and developing these tools be documented for application in other locations? A valuable piece of information is missing when implementing strategies to address sea level rise in coastal planning policy. As part of an overreaching process, this research project aims to dete rmine a method to effectively determine an approach to provide dynamic visualization and communication tools for the purpose of generating an engaging, productive atmosphere in workshop settings. Project Structure Organizational discipline is a critical component to this research project, as this proce ss is being documented for use as a template to be used by others. A clear project work flow should be outlined to illustrate approaches to be used and methods for acquiring the desired research data. This particular research project is sp ecifically focused on Phase One of the three recommended ph ases, culminating with the development of tools proven to be effective in the visualization and communication of sea level rise. The other two phases simply place focus on the further refinement and development of visualization and communication tools for workshop and public forum settings. Each phase will have its own unique focus, requiring in-depth analysis into which tools are engaging their respective audience most effectively. The focus of each recommended phase are as follows: Phase One: Effective Visualization and Communication Tools for Stakeholder Workshops


6 Phase Two: Effective Visualization and Communication Tools for Multi-Stakeholder Workshops Phase Three: Effective Tools for Public Presentations and Planning Toolbox Focusing in on Phase One, this study is particularly interested in gearing visualization and communication tools towards the first stakeholder workshops shown in Figu re 2-1. Within Phase One, this study has been structured to be conducted in the following four general steps: Literature Review Background Research Development of Tools Tool Testing and Analysis These steps are to serve as a general guide throughout the duration of this study, and will be further defined in later chapters. Phases Two and Three will be outlined and recommended as an opportunity for further research and study. Guiding Principles A few main assumptions and guiding principles were formulated for this study to e nsure the greatest possibility for creating a transferable process. Above all else, this process needed to have the ability to be used in other locations, so the principles explained below were deemed to be necessary to create a high level of transferability. Rigorous Documentation For process to truly be tra nsferable, special care must be taken to properly document steps followed throughout the entire process. Regardless of how meaningful decisions may appear to be, all steps and subsequent changes to the process Figure 1-1: General flow of further Recommended refinement and development


7 must be documented in detail. This will inform future users of the rationale behind the deve lopment of the transferable process. Proper documentatio n of reasoning for any changes made to the process must also be made to give insight into why certain approaches had to be al tered. Problems encountered along the way will serve as a great educational tool for the future implementation in other coastal areas. If problems encountered have been properly documented, a higher likelihood exists for further refinement of the process as new technologies and approaches develop. Use of Existing Visualization and Communication Tools Several existing tools, such as the Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impact Viewer by NOAA, have been developed specifically for visualizing and communicating the effects of sea level rise. When ever possible, these tools should be utilized to produce effective visualization and communication tools. Existing tools should be explored in detail and built upon, if possible. Often, they can prov ide accurate information in the timeliest manner. If appropriate visualization and communication tools do not currently exist, the next preferable option would be to seek out easily attainable methods of creating new visualization and communication products. Cost Effectiveness Much of this study involv es the research and use of existing visualization and communication tools; however, there will also be the creative design of new tools used in this process. Often times this may require the use of complex computer software packages, but it must be noted these decisions should be made with cost effectiveness in mind. The assumption has been made that utilizing the most cost effective software packages will translate into a more highly transferable process. This study revealed several historic al sea level rise studies with compelling graphic products to illustrate sea level rise, however, the graphic products were produced by software packages not typically found in planning offices. Often times, these software


8 packages can cost a planning department thousands of dollars to purchase. The guiding principle for this component was to use standard software packages typically found in planning or design offices to minimize the potential costs for future users of this process. As federal budgets have been continuously cut in the past few years, cost effectiveness can expect to play a major role in the transferab ility of planning processes. Applicable Location for Pilot Testing Process As with any process, appropriate testing of the methods is necessary. In terms of sea level rise planning, a coastal area in need of costal resiliency planning is an ideal location. As discussed in previous sections, rural coastal areas often have the most need for sea level rise planning as they have seen the least amount of planning progress to incorporate sea level rise into planning discussions. Another specific quality ideal for pilot testing sea level rise planning would be a location with particular ecological or environmental significance. Naturally, rural areas often play host to a variety of wildlife, an d this holds particularly true in the estuarine areas of coastal Flor ida. Proper coastal resiliency not only takes into account the built environment, but also the naturally existing ecosystems. A vibrant variety of ecosystems present in a testing location can ensure the pilot test will give proper attention to built and na tural environments respectively.


9 II. Literature Review Sea Level Rise and Resiliency Planning Coastal resilience has been defined by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) as “a framework that supports decisions to reduce the ecological and socio-economic risks of coastal hazards” (The Nature Conservancy). As outlined by TNC, coastal resilience focuses on four main elements: community engagement, database development of potential risks, decision support systems, and collaborative evaluation. Perhaps the most widely applicable topic area for coastal resilience is planning for sea level rise. Scientific measurements have documented sea levels on the rise for several decades. While the cause of sea level rise can be debated, its existence cannot be ignored. Global sea levels have risen continuously throughout the duration of the 20th Century and continued into the 21st Century. From 1950 to 2009, sea levels were measured to have risen an average of slightly more than 3 millimeters per year (Nicholls and Cazenave). Sea level rise is a problem which cannot be permanently solved, rather an occurnace to plan resilience for. As sea levels have continue to rise, the need for coastal resiliency planning continues to increase as well. Despite the need for coastal resiliency planning in all coastal areas, most efforts have focused in urban coastal areas. This has particularly been the case in the state of Florida. In recent years, urban areas in South Florida have been able to gain the most ground in terms of planning for sea level rise. For example, Miami’s elevation averages just 72 inches above sealevel, making it extremely vulnerable to sea level rise (The City of Miami). Understanding the urgency for planning, the City of Miami has agreed to plan for 1.5 meters of sea level rise. While this commitment can be seen as a large progressive step forward, such progress has been more difficult in rural coastal areas. Relative to other states in the United States, Florida is particularly vulnerable to sea level rise. With over 3 million


10 acres in Florida at 5ft or under in elevation, even a slight rise in sea level can have an immense effect on land areas (Titus and Richman). With this in mind, Fl orida should be at the forefront of piloting efforts in formulating a model for coastal resilience planning. To develop an effective model for coastal resilience planning, one must fully underst and the inherent difficulties attached to sea level rise planning. Inherent Difficulties in Planning for Sea Level Rise Regardless of planning for urban or rural areas, there are inherent difficulties that must be acknowledged when formulating a strategy for coastal resilience planning. The following challenges have a large impact on which planning approaches will be effective in beginning the incorporation of sea level rise into the planning process: Time Horizon of Changes A unique aspect of sea level rise is the timeframe at which projections are being made. Most sea level rise experts have projected data to 2100, al most a 90 year timeframe, not typically a timeframe addressed in most planning decisions associated with environmental hazards. Planning for quick moving and immediate hazards, such as hurricanes, have been part of planning discussions for several decades. The slow moving nature of sea level rise produces little urgency; however, the effects of sea level rise will be long-lasting, and perhaps permanent. This aspe ct alone requires immediate attention from coastal manageme nt professionals and policy makers. Lack of Governmental Funding No single department or federal agency has been left responsible for coastal resiliency planning, often times leaving scarce funding sources to plan for the impacts of sea level rise. There is a resulting need for collaborative efforts across several agencies, departments, and academic communities to research the most effective strategies for implementing sea level rise into coastal management plans. Coll aborative efforts, such as the research projects funded thro ugh the National Estuarine


11 Research Reserve System (NERRS) Science Collaborative, will ensure the most efficient use of available funding sources, as a wider variety of funding sources become available through the formation of a diverse research team. In 2009, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and U.S. Geological Survey reported academic communities to be “critical links between the most recent and credible information from the scientific community” (NOAA, USGS). Academic research institutions inherently have resources in place geared toward s creating valuable scientific data to support informed decisi on making, including adaptation strategies for sea level rise. The use of academic research communities spares local governments and municipalities from dedicating valuable and limited resources towards sea level rise planning research. Uncertainty of Projected Sea Level Rise Several projections have been made on various sea level rise scenarios, but the reality is no model can be completely certain of the exact rate and timeframe of sea level rise and its impacts. Many factors, such as the rate of ice loss in Greenland and Antarctica, can cause severe shifts in sea level rise projections. Currently, the rate of ice loss can be difficult to measure, which has resulted in varied sea level rise projections. For this reason, the actual rate of sea level rise is a constantly moving target in terms of projections (Mitchum). In Climate Change 2007, the Fourth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projected six scenarios of sea level rise relating to temperature rise. IPCC’s scenarios ranges fr om 7-23 inches by 2100 (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), however these ranges have already been questi oned in recent months as being potentially conservative projections as more scientific data is analyzed. In his August 2011 report, Sea Level Changes in the Southeastern United States, Dr. Gary T. Mitchum argued that using more recent scientific dat a points towards 80 centimeters (31 inches) being likely by 2100, with a reasonable range


12 of 50 to 140 centimeters (20-55 inches) by 2100 when using the IPCCÂ’s temperature rise relationship to predict sea level rise (Mitchum). With this topic in mind, it is important to note uncertainty must be addressed when forming communication and visualization tools for sea level rise. The ultimate goal is to effectively communicate and visualize the most current data and information pertaining to sea level rise to engage discussion on how to best incorporate sea level rise into coastal management practices. Illustrating the uncertainties helps the general public and planning community understand that sea level rise will continue to be a moving target, as Dr. Mitchum stated. The visualization and communication st rategies will always strive to use the most accurate, current scientific data and information available at that time. Over time, the visualization and communication techniques must adapt as new information and data is received. Perceived Risk and Apathy Scientists have data showing sea level rise over the past century has risen faster than any other time on Earth in the past 2,000 years (Kemp et al.). Two schools of thought have formed from the publication of such information. One school of thought tends to focus on the rate of changed observed over this time, rationalizing the rate of sea level rise is not enough to warrant any perceived risk. The other sc hool of thought understands sea level rise has been occurring for centuries, resulting in a sense of helplessness or apathy towards se a level rise. Both of these schools of thought can be problematic for building consensus through public workshops. Despite current sea level rise data, the perceived risk from sea level rise remains low. As mentioned previously, the 3 millimeters per year at which sea levels are currently rising can give the perception of little risk. For this reason, changes in planning policy related to sea level rise can be difficult to implement. Sea level rise incr ements are typically discussed in


13 terms of millimeters, which to the general public, does not seem significant enough to address. As discussed previously, factors such as continued ice loss and temperature rise will accelerate this current 3 millimeter yearly sea level rise. Apathy has resulted from a sense of helplessness to ‘solve’ sea level rise. When thinking in terms of solving a global issue such as sea level rise, a feeling of apathy is a natural reaction. Understanding sea level rise is not a problem to be solved, but rather a global occurrence to be planned and adapted for is crucial to overco ming apathy. Setting realistic goals for coastal resiliency planning is key to having engaging participants throughout the planning process. Role of Public Participation in Decision Making When beginning a dialogue focused on planning for sea level rise, it is imperative to implement a participatory atmosphere from the onset. In the current political structure, elected officials are to be a representation of their constituency. The most effective method of involving a constituency in the planning process is to encourage community involvement through community workshops. Often, elected officials begin to stray from core values expressed during the political campaign process. It is through these engaging community workshops, constituents can have their voices heard in a public forum (World Movement for Democracy) to hold decision makers and political leaders accountable. Citizens begin to feel more value and begin to take ownership in the planning process. In the case of sea level rise, it is the citizen’s proper ty and community being affected, and they must have a strong voice. Complex Issues and Disaster Planning Planning for sea level rise can be an extremely complex issue. Citizen engagement can help provide structure to these complex planning issues, as st rong public involvement has proven to be an effective way to deal with equally complex policy issues such as post-disaster recovery from Hurricane Katrina and reforming health care (America Speaks).


14 Role of Landscape Architect Landscape architects have the unique ability to communicate and visualize through several different mediums. Standard communication graphics, such as two-dimensional maps and three-dimensional anim ations, have become standard methods for landscape architects to provide an illustration of landscape change over time. Wh ile some of these tools may be used universally in the planning industry, landscape architects provide the unique ability to blend several different standard visual communication techniques into a unified approach when visualizing and communicating the effects of sea level rise. Through their experience of designing with both the natural and built environments in mind, landscape architects play a vital role in communicating landscape change as it results to human experience. Their unique ability to discover trends in human behavior (Mert ens) can greatly enhance the ability of visual communication tools to effectively engage individuals in workshop settings when planning for sea level rise.


15 III. Research Design and Methods Methodology Using a mixed method approa ch, this research study will use data collection from both qualitative and quantitative research methods to reach a consensus. When dealing with perception, both qualitative an d quantitative research data hold value in determining the best practices for developing, and implementing, visualization and communication tools related to the effects of sea level rise. Through this approach, data is gathered through a combination of research of existing data and technology, as well as gathering quantitative data through a survey of potential visualization and communication tools. Ultimately, this will lead to the development of the transferable process desired. The first step in creating a transferable process for visualization and communication approaches was to outline the topic areas before beginning any analysis of visual preferences. Documentation at the initial stages is key, as this is where the overall direction of the study will be formed. These steps form the overall structure of the study and serve as an organizational guide for research data gathered throughout the study. The steps outlined in this section will be expanded upon later in this study. Research of Current and Historical Visualization and Communication Approaches To fully understand how to communicate and visualize sea level rise, one must seek out resources for methods currently being used, as well as methods used in the past. Understanding what has been done in the past can lead to a better understanding of what approach es have a high chance for success in the future to visualize and communicate sea level rise. A close examination of current approaches and methods allows the research team to discuss their preferences, beginning to formulate an idea of what general topic areas of sea level rise should be addressed.


16 Comparison of Available Approaches and Methods After completing an analysis of current and historical methods for communicating and visualizing sea level rise, a comparison matrix should be formed. This allows other research team members to quickly view what the capabilities of the researched methods are. Throug h a comprehensive review of existing technology and data, methods and approaches for visualizing and communicating sea level rise will begin to form. Even if existing tools are not available for desired visualization or communication ideas, brainstorming for ways to make desired outcomes a reality should be occurring at this stage. At this preliminary stage of co mmunication and visual product development, benefits and limitations can be identified. Identification of Visualization and Communication Tools Once exhaustive research into existing visual communication methods and tools has been completed, identification of appropriate tool s for use must occur. Utilizing the comparison matrix, combined with a needs assessment for communication goals, a collection of desired tools and methods of visualization and communication will begin to form. At this stage, a simple gathering of tools identified as capable of delivering a desired message are formed to move into a development phase for further refinement. Development of Visualization and Communication Tools After collecting tools targeted towards specific visualization and communication go als, refinement of these tools can begin to take place. While up to this point tools may have been collected and organized on their ability to effectively visualize and communicate sea level rise, they still must be appropriately refined to address a specific study area for community workshops. While some tools may be effective for visualizing and communicating sea level rise at a global, or national scale, it is important to have visualization and communication tools specifically geared towards an intended audience.


17 The tools developed in this stage should be formed to produce not only compelling visual products, but accurate visual products as well. Credibility is important to maintain throughout any planning incorporating public involvement, as a distrustful audience is less likely to be cooperative in an engaging environment. Identification of Survey Group Once visualization and communication strategies have been developed, they must be te sted on appropriate groups to determine their true value. As these visualization and communication products are in a preliminary stage, it is best to test a group of individuals well-versed on the topic of sea level rise. By selecting an initial group of individuals well educated on sea level rise, the resulting data will effectively point out any areas of specific concern needing more adjustment before use in a public workshop setting. The process of gathering testing data should be streamlined as much as possible, and often times can be gathered entirely online, allowing survey participants to provide information at their convenience. Survey Development After tools have been developed and a survey group has been selected, an approach for testing the effectiveness of these tools must be developed. Special consideration must be given towards the individuals targeted for participation in the testing phase. An important goal for using a survey is to create a tool that is both comprehensive and appealing for the participant. When testing for visual and communication preferences it important to ha ve a set of pre and post-survey questions for participants to answer. This will allow for an effective method to measure any changes in perception as a result of viewing the visual communication tools. Questions must be created wi th specific goals in mind, which should be outlined before finalizing a survey. For example, when surveying visual and communication preferences questions should target in on identifying what specific attributes


18 of the visual communication prod ucts tested have the ability to increase the effectiveness of se rving as engaging tools deemed worthy of use in community workshops. Analysis Once data has been collected a proper analysis of the data must take place. Ideally patterns in data will begin to develop, which will correspond to the effectiveness of certain visualization and communication techniques. Strategically analyzed data will yield informatio n to assist in the formulation of a visualization and communicati on toolbox of approaches for use in public stakeholder workshops. Compilation of Visualization and Communication Toolbox In this step, the visualization and communication toolbox begins to take shape, as the survey data has informed any alterations to the visualization and communication products. Throughout this overall process, it cannot be stressed enough to keep any visualization or comm unication graphics organized. Visualization and communication graphics should be organized in personal online storage folders for reference. This enables one to properly, and effectively respond to any questions that may arise. Context of Study As an area of extremely di verse habitats, plants, and wildlife, this study chose to use the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTMNERR) as the focal geographical region for pilot testing visualization and communication approaches. Desi gnated in 1999, the GTMNERR boundaries encompass over 64, 000 acres on the northeast coast of Florida. The National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) System includes 28 membe rs nationwide established by the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (Ocean and Coastal Resource Management). Today, this same reserve system remains as a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the coastal states where these 28 areas are located.


19 The GTMNERR has two distinct components, separated by the City of St. Augustine, and has direct links to the Atlantic Ocean through the St. Augustine Inlet and Matanzas Inlet. The Reserve is comprised of a diverse number of habitats, and is known as the northernmost extent of mangrove habitats on the east coast of the United States (Zomlefer et al.). The value of the GTMNERR is not simply in its scenic, natural beauty, but also holds significant value as an economic catalyst for the region. This estuary supports or produc es a large portion of the regionÂ’s commercial fish and shellfish (Ocean and Coastal Management) Sea Level Rise Grant Project In 2009, the Science Collaborative began in a cooperative agreement with the University of New Hampshire to fund projects assisting local communities to address coastal management problems (Oce an and Coastal Resource Management). This program re cognizes the need for being able to use scientific data to better, and more efficiently, inform Resource Management). coastal management decisions. A specific focus of the Science Collaborative is to efficiently transfer methods and tools to others throughout coastal communities nationwide. In 2012, the Figure 3-1: Map showing north and south sections of the GTM Research Reserve (image credit NOAA/GTMNERR)


20 University of Florida was awar ded a three-year grant project to study and pilot a sea level rise planning process. Identifying the important role visualization and communication plays in sea level rise planning, it was determined to utilize the grant project as an opportunity to pilot test the visualization and communication tool development process of this study. Not only will the results from the visualization and communication study be particularly valuable for the grant project, but can also be applied to similar NERR sites, as well as other coastal communities. The Science Collaborative not only places importance on the data produced from research, but documenting the processes in which data and knowledge is compiled (Ocean and Coastal Res ource Management). As the grant project moves forward, the processes outlined in this visualization and communication study will be continually applied to further refine visualiza tion and communication tools as each community workshop ph ase is completed.


21 IV. Technology Analysis and Summary In the past two decades, research focusing on visualization techniques relate d to sea level rise has been increasing in popularity. Edward Tufte has built a distinguished career illustrating the power of visualizing quantitative data over mere regurgitation of facts and statistics. While visualization has always played a vital role in the design process, only recently have visualization and communication techniques related to sea level rise been at the forefront of climate change research. With widespread skepticism towards climate change as a whole, the need for innovative approaches to illustrate the potential effects of sea level rise has been growing. The gap between the production and comprehension of scientific data can often be monumental. Innovative visualization and communication techniques are beginning to bridge this gap. Generally two approaches have been implemented, and even combined, to communicate and visualize sea level rise: scientific data-based visualization and non-scientific databased visualization. While the methods within these two approaches may vary, the goal of effectively communicating and visualizing sea level rise remains the same. This section serves as a guide to outline the potential methods planners could utilize to formulate c ustomized visualization and communication. Scientific Data-Based Tools Visualization and communication of sea level rise holds its highest value when able to be paired with scientific data. The use of scientific tools tends to give credibility to visual and communication products. When dealing with the topic of sea level rise, skepticism and uncerta inty of the target audience must be addressed. Basing vi sual and communication products on scientific data can help give a foundation for visualization and communication strategies. Frequently, scientific data must be projected to illustrate sea level rise over time, however, the beginning point of these projections should be formed from


22 existing conditions that have been accurately documented. Several approaches are currently being used to effectively visualize and communicate sea level rise through the use of scientific data. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Analysis In its simplest form, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a digital approach used in the design field to create and analyze multiple sources of data spatially in a cohesive manner. As Michael Goodchild describes GIS in his book Environmental Modeling with GIS, he labels it as “a generalpurpose technology for handling geographic data in digital form” (Goodchild, Parks and Steyaert). While the use of GIS in informing planning decisions has truly been formed over the past 50 years, the method of mapping and analyzing data in this manner can be traced back to an 1854 cholera outbreak in London that was subsequently mapped and analyzed by Dr. John Snow (Grinderud). Dr. Snow’s ability to spatially illustrate this outbreak showed the power of visualization and communication of scientific data. In the early 1960’s GIS began to take a more advanced approach by using co mputer technology to store data for later analysis, as was do ne in the establishment of the Canada Land Inventory (Gregory and Ell). In terms of using data for sea level rise, a central location for GIS data can often be found through a specified geospatial data clearinghouse website. Often, the sources for such data originates from various federal agencies, but are often stored in a centralized location. For example, the state of Florida stores and shares data several from federal agencies through the Florida Geogrpahic Data Library (FGDL) website This website is maintained by the University of Florida GeoPlan Center and a llows users to access existing data compiled by various state age necies for further analysis.


23 ArcGIS Founded in 1969 as a land-use consulting firm, Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) has become the leader in terms of market share in the GIS software market (Esri). The most widely used application for creating, managing, sharing, and mapping GIS data is the software package ArcGIS, developed by Esri in the late 1990Â’s (Esri Info: Company History). Within the ArcGIS software package, users have the ability to manipulate existing data or create their own data for analysis. The ability of ArcGIS to not only analyze data, but provide graphical ou tput capabilities, has made ArcGIS a popular platform for forecasting the future effects and location of sea level rise. This section will outline existing tools currently being used in visualizing and communication sea level rise. It must be noted that when using a GIS approach to analyzing data, the data sources must be verified and reliable. The resulting outputs from multiple sources of data will only be as accurate as the original input data. ArcGIS is a highly useful tool on many levels for sea level rise planning, however, cost may be an issue for research pr ojects with a limited budget. Standard licenses for ArcGIS software begin at $7,000 per user (ERSI). Many of the advanced tools from ArcGIS will be required for in-depth analysis of sea level rise, thus requiring a more advanced ArcGIS license suite to be purchased. Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) Originally developed in the 1980Â’s, the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) has been an evolving tool that has proven to be very useful for informing coastal planning decisions in relation to sea level rise. SLAMM has the ability to simulate shoreline and wetland habitat movement through a unique organizational structure of data. The three crucial pieces of data layers needed for SLAMM to operate are: NOAA Tidal Data Fish & Wildlife National Wetland Inventory Data United States Geological Survey


24 As SLAMM has been developed over the years, five key processes have been identified as playing a primary role in the movement of wetland habitats. The five processes primarily affecting wetland habitats and th eir definitions as outlined by Jonathan Clough are: Inundation: Calculated based on the minimum elevation and slope of cell. Erosion: Can be triggered when estuarine/open ocean habitats come in close proximity to marsh habitats. Overwash: Barrier islands undergo overwash at a fixed sea level interval. Beach migration is then calculated. Saturation: Migration of coastal swamps and fresh marshes onto adjacent uplands. This is a response of the water table to rising sea levels. Accretion: Vertical rise of marsh due to buildup of organic and inorganic material on marsh surface. Rate differs by marsh type. (Warren Pinnacle Consulting, Inc.) SLAMM uses a cell size specified by the user to organize all data in a format to be analyzed. Using the three data layers previously described, along with the five primary processes, SLAMM begins a complex decision process to classify each cell into one of 23 categories as outlined in Appendix A, ‘NWI Classes to SLAMM’. As these categories are assigned to each cell, SLAMM can then begin to simulate changes over time to each cell, effectively illustratin g where certain habitats are shifting as a result of sea level rise. Benefits SLAMM has proven to be a valuable tool over time, as its ability to analyze large study areas lends itself nicely to studying sea level rise. SLAMM is an open-source code, which allows for public use, and even modifications based on personal preference. As preferences are chosen, and the SLAMM data analysis has been completed, SLAMM also holds the ability to output statistical data on habi tat areas, and how greatly they may have been affected by sea level rise over time. With the ultimate goal of creating a transferrable visualization and


25 communication process, the open-source status of SLAMM encourages transferability to other sea level rise projects. Another benefit is the ability to host created data through the use of SLAMMView, a product now supported by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. By loading finalized data to SLAMMView users can view, interact, and compare data created in SLAMM through an overlay map on a Google Map base. Results can also be viewed in a tabular form, easily allowing users to change viewing preferences. Limitations Despite the benefits to SLAMM, some limitations do exist. The first limitation, and most obvious, which will apply to all GIS methods, is the need for GIS expertise to produce the inputs for the modeling process. A research team member with at least a working knowledge of ArcGIS will be needed to run SLAMM. Even for those familiar with ArcGIS will benefit from reviewing the userÂ’s manual pr ovided by Warren Pinnacle Consulting, Inc at the company website ( of/SLAMM6/SLAMM_6_Users_Manua l.pdf ). Another consideration to be made is the accuracy of the input data, specifically topogr aphy data. Topography plays a large role in the accuracy of SLAMM outputs. Currently Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) data is some of the most accurate topographic data available for use in GIS applications, but is not yet readily available for all coastal areas. If working at larger scal es, it may be possible to obtain topography data from several different providers. It is extremely important to the overa ll accuracy of SLAMM that all topography inputs are of the sa me resolution, which can be a challenge when dealing with multiple data providers. Limitations in aquatic vegetation are also found with the use of SLAMM. As sea grasses are an extremely important aquatic habitat, they are left unaccounted for in this model. Not only are the National Wetlands Inventory data often out of date, according to Jonathan Clough, but sea grasses are not


26 factored into their classification system (Clough). Due to the focus on the National Wetlands Inventory data, this important habitat does not have the abilit y to be mapped or simulated over time. Sea, Lake and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) A tool normally seen for forecasting or simulating storm surge data, the Sea, Lake and Overland Surges from Hurricane tool was developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the National Weather Service (NWS) to aid emergency management professions in determining potential areas of risk by estimating st orm surge heights in hurricane events (Federal Emergency Man agement Agency). SLOSH is typically applied at a regional scale, and has the ability to simulate storm surge data resulting from a storm of a specific intensity, occurring at a specific tide level. Three categories are used in creating outputs from the SLOSH model: storm direction, storm intensity (hurricane category), and wind speed/tide level (NOAA Coastal Services Center). This allows emergency managers to view areas of risk as if every coastal location in the study area has taken a direct hit from the simulated storm (The Nature Conservancy). The use of SLOSH begins to bring the aspect of storm surge into the discussion of sea level rise, which can often be a component not easily understood by the general public. Scientific data suggests that as our ocean temperatures increase, so will the intensity and frequency of storms (NASA). If this theory proves to be true, one could assume storm surges will parallel th is increased intensity, causing SLOSH data to have an important place in the discussion of coastal resiliency. Benefits Due to the collaborative nature of several agencies in its creation, SLOSHÂ’s main benefit is its unique ability to analyze, simulate, and communicate storm surge data. To date, SLOSH is the most comprehensive tool available to communicate and


27 visualize potential storm surges. As with all other GIS applications, SLOSH has the ability to analyze large amounts of data to simulate storm surge effects across large coastal regions. Another main benefit of the SLOSH model is its ability to stay technologically advanced in terms of its data inputs. The SLOSH model is currently being used by the National Weather Service for hurricane preparedness, so continuous updates are being made to the data, and model itself (NOAA Coastal Services Center). By downloading the current version of the SLOSH Display program, users can generate their own storm surge data for extraction to ArcGIS for further analysis and mapping (NOAA Coastal Service s Center). This makes the output data from SLOSH easily transferable to other GIS analysis methods. Limitations The main limitation of SLOSH is the output of its data only being applicable to storm surge data. While SLOSH is very detailed at outlining risks associated with storm surge, it must be used in coordination with other data related to sea level rise for proper context. Whereas other GIS modeling outputs have the ability to stand alone as visualization and communication products, SLOSH is often used as an input for other GIS modeling approaches. As acknowledged by the National Weather Service, SLOSH does not currently account for accumulated rainfall or wave heights during storm events (National Weather Service). In reference to sea level rise, these factors are minimal, however, as storm intensity increa ses over time, these issues will need to be resolved to provide a more accurate visualization of storm surge potential. If storm surge is an area of focus for a research project, it may be necessary to hire or recruit an individual with expertise in SLOSH modeling. SLOSH has been developed specifically to be used by trained professionals, so use of this tool may not be possible depending on the expertise of your


28 research team. To access the SLOSH Display website, a username and password is requ ired and can be obtained through the Nationa Weather Service at their SLOSH website ( ). Hazards United States (HAZUS) Hazards United States (HAZUS) is a GIS-based assessment software package developed by FEMA in the early 1990Â’s to assess potential risk of loss due to earthquakes (Schneider and Schauer). Since then, HAZUS has evolved into HAZUS-MH, which now includes the ability to assess risk associated with the modeling of flooding, coastal surge, hurricanes, and earthquakes (Federal Emergency Management Agency). This assessment of loss plays an important role in decision-making at all levels of governemnt, as it allows for a dollar value to be assigned to losses associated with certain hazards. Benefits The primary benifit of using HAZUS-MH is the ability to assign a dollar value to losses. In the assessment of sea level rise, this could mean real estate or even specific buildings. Depending on the data used fo r analysis, HAZUS-MH could potentially identify areas of either high ecological or economic value that should be prioritized for protection. Limitations Again, a large limiting factor is the expertise needed to run the HAZUS-MH model. As with the other modeling software mentioned in this section, it would be best to have a research team member with experience in completing HAZUS-MH modeling runs. This is a very complex software package that will require a knowledgeable user to effectively gather and assemble the necessary data used in the analysis. As a result of the complexity of HAZUS-MH, many functions may take several hours to run, increasing the time needed for proper analysis. This is a direct result of the size of a specific study area, so


29 processing time may vary greatly among different sea level rise projects. HAZUS-MH is a very effective tool in assessing potential replacement values, but caution must be taken when reporting these figures. The true value in the use of HAZUS-MH in sea level rise scenarios is realiz ing dollar values of potential infrastructure loses as a result of rising sea levels. However, most of the data used to determine replacement costs are based on national data that may not properly reflect localized areas within the study area (D epartment of Homeland Security and FEMA). Bathtub Mapping Products As defined by the NOAA Coastal Services Center, bathtub mapping is “sea level ri se mapping using a single value of water level rise for all locations” within a specified study area (NOAA Coastal Services Center). Perhaps one of the most basic approaches to visualizing sea level rise, bathtub maps essentially analyze two aspects of sea level rise: increase in sea level and current elevation. Benefits Through the use of a limited amount of data, bathtub mapping approaches have gene rally been viewed as the quickest way to represent sea level rise. For this reason, an expert knowledge level is not required to produce bathtub mapping data, however a working knowledge of ArcGIS is helpful to efficiently produce bathtub outputs. Due to their simplistic form, bathtub models are often low in cost and generally effective as a public education tool for illustrating vulnerable areas for inundation due to sea level rise (Glick, Clough and Nunley). Limitations The straightforward approach of bathtub models does lead to some questioning of the outputs from coastal management experts. This method of visualizing sea level rise does not take into account tide levels, waves, or wind speed


30 (NOAA Coastal Services Center). By not taking into account a high level of data, bathtub ma pping techniques will be of limited use for sea level rise proj ects dealing specifically with habitat/ecosystem shifts and associated species movement resulting from sea level rise (Glick, Clough and Nunley). Climate Central Surging Seas Map Through the use of National Elevation Dataset (NED) information Climate Central has developed a nice, but limited tool to view how sea level rise will impact coastal areas nationwide. By visiting participants can search by city, state, or zip code to view the potential impacts of sea level rise in their area of interest depending on the height of sea level rise. Benefits This tool provides an easily to read format by keeping the graphic simple, and allows fo r users to interact with the data, which is convenient. The impact categories cover population, homes and acreage lost as a result of sea level rise, so it can be a quick, useful tool for providing some reliable statistics on the effects of sea level rise. Limitations While reports for cities are available for download, specific maps are not able to be exported. The map can be cumbersome to navigate, and data can be hard to comprehend with the manner in which the map is presented. MicroDEM Created over twenty years ago by Peter Guth, MicroDEM has been developed into a simple, but powerful tool for analyzing digital elevation models (DEMs). Much like the bathtub mapping approach, MicroDEM deals specifically with topographic data. Maps repr esenting elevation data can easily be exported by an untrained user. Benefits Besides the ease of use, MicroDEM allows users to export animated files in AVI and MPG formats, which can be simple way to create animated views of sea level rise with


31 minimal training. After the user chooses a starting point and specifies intervals of sea level rise desired, MicroDEM will then animate the associated sea level rise. MicroDEM is a free program, so cost is a non-issue when incorporating its output capabilities into any sea level rise project Limitations As with the bathtub models MicroDEM driving force is topography, so accuracy is dependent on the quality of DEM being used for analysis. In addi tion, the outputs would have limited used on projects aiming to provide an in-depth analysis of habitat and species shifts as a result of sea level rise. Another limitation with the output of MicroDEM results from the data structure. When determining sea level rise through its flooding component, the DEM will have a limited coverage area. As a result, if there is any opportunity for water to move out of your DEM but that location is located off screen, MicroDEM is not able to take those areas into account (Pawlowicz). NOAA Sea Level Rise and Coasta l Flooding Impacts Viewer Incorporating the results in to an online viewing tool, NOAA provides an ‘off-the-shelf’ technology component for use in the visualization and communication of several different aspects of sea level rise in a user-friendly, interactive tool. Five specific areas can be shown through the online viewing tool: areas of sea level rise, mapping confidence, marsh habitat migration, socioeconomic vulnerability, and flood frequency (NOAA Coastal Services Center). Through the integration of this information, users can compare a wide variety of effects related to sea level rise. Benefits Classified as an ‘off the shelf’ technology, this tool requires no training and is imme diately available for use. As of early 2012, a majority of the Gulf Coast has been included in the online viewer, with the exception of Louisiana. Another nice component to this package is the availability of visual images to accompany certain areas of interest on the map (NOAA


32 Coastal Services Center). The images can be viewed in coordination with the sea level slider bar, and often represent well known local landmarks. This can be an extremely valuable tool when working in areas where important local landmarks are at risk of being affected by rising sea levels. The range of data covered through the online viewing tool also presents a direct benefit to coastal managers aiming to communicate a wide variety of sea level rise impacts within a centralized location. Users can easily navigate to all five data topics, as well as scales of severity, through the user-friendly on screen menu. Through this menu, users also have the ability to access narrative explanations of the data, which can serve as a valuable comprehension tool in a public workshop setting. This tool also effectively addresses different levels of scale through the on screen slider bar. Us ers can view data from a large, Gulf Coast regional scale, or zoom into roughly a city-wide viewing scale, creating a unique tool to communicate the effects of sea level rise at varying scales. Limitations The online viewer has one inherent limitation in that for its use in a public workshop setting, an internet connection must be established. At this time, the ability to export information into images or animations is not available. Likewise, with the accompanying visual images of local landmarks, they cannot be exported for use in public workshops, but simply can be viewed only through the online viewing tool. Figure 4-1: Adaptation of NOAAÂ’s Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer, showing a 6 foot sea level rise in the GTM Research Reserve


33 As mentioned before, mapping of the entire Gulf Coast has not be completed, with the absence of data for Louisiana and small portions of Florida. As of early 2012, if a study area happens to fall in one of these areas, the online viewer will not be capable of addressing the specific area of interest. United States Geological Survey (USGS) Sea-Level Rise Visualization for Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida NOAA has partnered with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to create a sea level rise visualization tool for parts of Alabama, Mississippi, an d Florida. As with the NOAA tool, users have the ability to view sea level rise in foot increments up to a sea level rise of 6 feet, along with the option for viewing where sea levels were during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 (US Geological Survey). Benefits As with NOAAÂ’s Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer, this is an off the shelf product, that requires no training or alteration to be used. Hosted through the USGS website ( ), this tool can easily be accessed with an internet connection. This tool specifically focuses on water level, but also allows the user to choose a background layer personalized to their preference. Options include satellite imagery, street maps, terrain, or topographic maps (US Geological Survey). In addition to the background layers, users also have the option to overlay population data and road networks, which can provide excellent context when visualizing sea level rise. Limitations Unlike NOAAÂ’s Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer, the USGS tool only examines water levels. While users of NOAAÂ’s tool have the option of looking at several different analysis maps, the only customizable options in the USGS tool relate to the background map layer and the population overlay layer.


34 Developed as a pilot project, this tool only has been developed for parts of Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida. If the study area of interest does not fall within the boundaries of this tool, the USGS Sea Level Rise Visualization Tool may be of little value. Much like NOAAÂ’s online viewer, you must have internet access to utilize this tool, whic h can be problematic for public workshop settings. Exporting or saving images from this application is also not available, so any and all use of this product must take place online. Visual Nature Studio Classified as a 3D visualization software program, Visual Nature Studio is a relatively new piece of software being utilized in sea level rise visualization and communication projects. A product of 3d Nature, Visual Nature Studio gives users the ability to produce photorealistic, 3D landscape visualization products. Benefits Visual Nature Studio is perhaps the only software package that combines the ability to render and animate actual GIS data. Visual Nature Studio has the ability to realistically portray actual geographic locations using: digital elevation models (DEM), vector data, or remote sensed imagery (3D Nature, LLC). With experience and training, Visual Nature Studio has the ability to create interactive displays valuable for communicating the potential effects of sea level rise. Recently designed to become more compatible with GIS data layers, Visual Nature Studio has great versatility to communicate GIS data in graphic form. The user has the ability to designate how different GIS data layers are graphically represented. For example, data extracted from SLAMM could be brought into Visual Nature Studio to visually represent landscape change. A certain visual landscape could be designated for each habitat ty pe, as defined by the SLAMM habitat classifications. This approach would be particularly


35 effective in showing how landscape and habitat composition will change as a result of sea level rise. Limitations Despite the several benefits afforded by using a powerful program like Visual Nature Studio, it does not come without some limitations. Visualization and communication products created in Visual Nature Studio can be very time consuming to produce. A high level of training and expertise is required to efficiently and effectively produce high quality visualization and communication products for illustrating the effects of sea level rise (Lewis et al.). The other main limitation to the Visual Nature Studio software package is the investment coast. Visual nature studio is widely used in the forest and timber industry, but is not a common software tool readily found in planning and design offices. This most likely means any research team wishing to use this tool will need to purchase the software for integration into sea level rise scenarios. Currently the retail price is roughly $2,500 for purchase, making it a luxury for most planning and design offices. NASA Sea Level Viewer In a partnership with the French space agency CNES, NASA began measuring EarthÂ’s oc ean height by satellite (Jet Propulsion Laboratory | California Institute of Technology). The result of this partnership is a 3D, interactive sea level viewer tool visualizing the data capture d on these satellite missions. This tool explores the concept that elevated surface height of the ocean represents an associated rise in water temperature. Benefits While this tool may have limited use in localized sea level rise projects, the global scale of this tool can be helpful in the early stages of any sea level rise project. The use of this tool can help position any research or planning project related to sea level rise. Sea level rise must be understood on a global scale to be truly understood at a local scale. With an interactive component, the Sea Level ViewerÂ’s true value can be


36 seen as an educational tool in the early stages of project and discussion development. Limitations As mentioned, because of its sole focus at the global scale, NASA’s Sea Level Viewer tool will have limited use past the initial framing of any local sea level rise discussion. The tool is only available online, so an internet connection must be established to utilize this tool in any setting. Without viewing the accompanying overview video, this tool can also be difficult to comprehend. Color schemes are not clearly defined into categories making the information very difficult to understand without lengthy interaction with the tool. Google Scientific Data Based Products Google has quickly become a reliable, and useful, source for tools related to the visualization and communication of sea level rise. With Google’s mission of making information universally useful and accessible, products have been developed for visualizing and communicating sea level rise. Google Earth Products In terms of visualizing and communicating sea level rise, one of the more powerful low-cost tools to utilize is Google Earth. First released in 2005, Google Earth has been developed into a reliable, free source of aerial photography and limited 3D visualization. Google Earth primarily uses data from NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topo graphy Mission (SRTM), which allows users to view imagery in 3D while navigating in the onscreen interface. Keeping with Google’s collaborative nature, several plug-ins geared towards the visualization of sea level rise have been developed to accompany Google Earth. Sea Level Rise Explorer Developed by Global Warming Art, the Sea Level Rise Explorer is tool used to show areas at the highest risk to be affected by sea level rise. The map shown is based from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) data at a 90 meter resolution. Another ‘off th e shelf’ visualization and communication tool, the Sea Level Rise Explorer shows


37 geographic areas and their associated level of risk for inundation from rising sea levels. The Sea Level Rise Explorer does not take into account typical coastal occurrences, such as accretion, or salt water intrusion. Without the ability to understand these processes, the Sea Level Rise Explorer does not truly give an accurate look at high risk areas on a finer scale. If this model is used in any public workshop setting, the visualization and communication graphic must be shown at an appropriate scale for viewing. From a viewpoint of assessing vuln erability to sea level rise, the Sea Level Explorer may provide a nice starting point for discussion. However, it would not be advised to use the Sea Level Rise Explorer for any advanced analysis of sea level rise vulnerability, especially at a small scale. Global Sea Level Rise Map Like the Sea Level Rise Explorer tool, Alex Tingle has utilized NASAÂ’s SRTM data to crea te a Global Sea Level Rise map, showing inundation levels to a maximum level of 60 meter resolution (Tingle). Users are able to navigate the world through the Global Sea Level Rise mapping tool to see various inundation levels virtually anywhere in the world. As with the Sea Level Rise Explorer, the Global Sea Level Rise map does not take in to account some of the natural occurrences of coastal habitats, such as the accretion and salt water intrusion levels. The Global Sea Level Rise map also predominantly uses elevation as the input for determining where inundation may occur. This ofte n can result in areas far away from the ocean, being classified as inundated (Tingle). Unfortunately, this map cannot be used as a reliable source of specific areas of inundation. While this map can be of some use in initial discussions, specific discussion on the effects of sea level rise on a specific study area must be addressed with mapping at a much higher level of accuracy.


38 Topography and Aerial Imagery Data Sources NASA Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) Data Initiated as an international research effort to compile topographic data globally, the SRTM was a strategic partnership between the U.S. Na tional Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and NASA carried out onboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 2000 (Jet Propulsion Laboratory). Labeled as ‘the mission to map the world’, the SRTM has resulted in the most widely used data for aerial imagery. This effort has resulted in the collect ion of digital elevation models (DEMs), which are frequently used in GIS analysis projects. Mainly intended for governmental use, the raw data of this mission is not available for public use (Jet Propulsion Laboratory). The raw data obtained from the mission is in 30 meter resolution and has only been released in such high resolution for public use in the United States, while late in 2011 data covering Australia was released for public use. Benefits DEM data derived from the SRTM has typically been used is most GIS applications, this data is viewed as globally, the most comprehensive set of aerial imagery available. These elevation models can be obtained free of charge from various internet sources. Most state GIS clearinghouse websites have the most recent DEM obtained from the STRM available for download. Limitations As mentioned before, the ra w data was obtained at a 30 meter resolution, however, the global release of this data was made available to the public at a 90 meter resolution. If using the 90 meter resolution size dataset, some accuracy will be lost in any analysis performed. The 30 meter dataset is currently only available in the United States and Australia, so if a study area falls outside of thes e regions, a better local option for topography and aerial imagery may be desired.


39 Another potential limitation of this dataset is the presence of void areas of data. During this mission, it was estimated 80% global coverage was obtained (Jet Propulsion Laboratory). Gaps may exist in specific study areas, however, steps have been taken to resolve most of these void areas from the orginal raw data. Lastly, as with all DEM datasets, they are considered bare-earth raster surfaces, meaning they only take into account topography, not able to distingu ish vegetation or buildings. While DEM data is used widely, it must be noted that these elements are not taken into account and can cause slightly lower accuracy levels. USGS Seamless Data Warehouse Hosted by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the Seamless Data Warehouse provides users with a central location to retrieve geospatial data. In addition to DEM data in the form of National Elevation Datasets (NEDs), the Seamless Data Warehouse also provides datasets for tree canopy, land cover, and impervious surface (US Geological Survey). Data has been obtained through various USGS projects and added to existing datasets as they are obtained. DEM data created by the USGS may also be available through the Land Boundary Information System (LABINS). This website is strictly focused on the state of Florida, and host s a variety of imagery and DEM datasets. Benefits By providing the Seamless Data Warehouse, the USGS has provided a very organized website for obtaining data normally found only through searches of several state agencies. A guide map plainly lays out th e availability of data based on a desired location. As opposed to the SRTM datasets, the NED files are available not only in 30 meter resolution, but 10 meter and 3 meter resolution as well. This provides a more detailed look at elevation for analysis in sea level rise projects. Ultimately, the accuracy of sea level rise projections rely heavily on the


40 accuracy of elevation data. Finer detail datasets, such as the 3 meter resolution dataset, will provide more accurate sea level projections, although processi ng time will increase as well. Limitations As with the SRTM datasets, the USGS elevation datasets are also are considered ‘bare-earth’ raster surfaces only accounting for basic elevation, without factoring in other elements such as tree canopy an d buildings. This can result in lower accuracy levels, which can, in turn, result in a lower accuracy level in sea level rise projections. The USGS NED’s are widely available in 30 meter resolution, however if a finer detail DEM is needed, it may be discovered not to be available in specific study areas. The availability of data becomes limited as resolution becomes finer. Most of the 3 meter resolution data is focused on coastal states, however, its availability is still limited. NOAA Coastal Services Center Digital Coast Access Viewer Hosted by the NOAA Coastal Services Center, the Digital Coast Access Viewer was created as a resource for distributing raster, vector and lidar data in a single user interface. By navigating to a specific area on the map interface, users are able to see a comprehensive list of data available for the outlined area of interest. Benefits This is a great source for locating hard to find lidar data available for coastal areas. While lidar data can othen times be limited, if it is available in a specific region, this tool will be able to locate it. Li dar data has the unique ability to read surface topography through most tree canopy areas, creating a more accurate elevation dataset. In addition to the ability to find lidar data, DEM and vector data files can also be located through the Digital Coast Access Viewer. While not a completely exhaustive list of data,


41 a wide range of data can be found through the use of the Digital Coast Access Viewer. Limitations No true limitations exist with this site, other than some datasets can be shown as unavailable due to licensing. Despite including unattainable data, the Di gital Coast Viewer is a fine example of how to create a central user interface for efficiently search for datasets appropriate to specific study areas. University of Florida Map and Imagery Library A vast collection of maps and aerial imagery can be accessed through the University of FloridaÂ’s Map and Imagery Library. Containing nearly 500,000 maps and 270,000 aerial photographs, the library is the largest academic map collection in the Southeast (University of Florida). Most of the libraryÂ’s collections have been cataloged and can be easily searched. A powerful collection within the library is the aerial photography collection. Historic al aerial photography can be viewed and even downloaded thro ugh map searches, flight lists by county, or through an ArcGIS server. Locating historical aerials for a specific study area can prove to be a valuable tool for illustrating how land has changed over time in a specific study area. The only limitation to using this approach is the difference in quality of images as technology improved over time. Land changes can be difficult to distinguish with images varying greatly in resolution. Another section valuable for sea level rise projects would be the historical map colle ction of the library. Coastal areas have some of the most extensive historical map collections simply due to the navigational value of accurately mapping land. These historical maps can help not only researchers, but workshop participants as well, see what change has already occurred over time as a result of viewing a selection of historical aerial photography. Non-Scientific Data Based Tools This section will outline some of the existing tools available to planners and designers for the visualization and


42 communication of sea level rise not based on scientific data. While these tools are not based on scientific data, most often their value is in being used to supplement scientific data based tool to better communicate and visualize the effects of sea level rise. Often times the scientific data based tools are focused on organizing the data, but lack the ability to effectively communicate or visualize the desired message. The tools outlined in this section help to bridge the gap between reliable scientific data, and effective communication and visualization graphics. Ultimately what results is a more effective communication and visualization strategy through the blending of both sets of tools. Computer Graphic Tools A common way for planners and designers to visualize and communicate ideas and inform ation is through the use of computer-aided design (CAD) tools. This section outlines two of the more common software programs typically used in design offices, AutoCAD and Google SketchUp. While they both have the ability to communicate and display scientific data, they are primarily used as conduits for displaying information rather than utilized as analysis tools. AutoCAD AutoCAD is perhaps the most widely used drafting tool in the planning industry as it was developed as one of the first programs designed to run on personal computers in the early 1980Â’s by AutoDesk. For this reason, AutoCAD has become well established in the planning and design industries, become a standard software package pres ent in most planning and design offices worldwide. Benefits Because AutoCAD has become a standard in the design and planning professions, it is easy to share data and information among other planners and designers working in a collaborative group. One of the biggest benefits to AutoCAD is its versatility. While is does not have the ability to provide any scientific


43 analysis of data, it does have the ability to import scientific data from ArcGIS, making it a valuable supplemental tool for sea level rise projects incorporating GIS data into visualization products. When speaking in terms of a transferable process, AutoCADÂ’s true value lies in its ability to provide quick overlay visualizations and simple, but accurate conceptual mapping graphics. Through importing scientific data layers and aerial imagery, AutoCAD can quickly be used to provide simple communication and visualization graphic outputs. Limitations While AutoCAD does have some 3D capabilities, its function lends itself more towards 2D graphic output. The 3D capabilities of AutoCAD usually require the use of an AutoDesk add-on software package, which typically requires a high level of working knowledge of the software to be used in a manner for effective visualization and communication approaches. Another limitation of AutoCAD is its preference for working in detail at finer scales than typically analyzed in sea level rise projects. AutoCAD software operates in specific measurement scales, so to avoid slow operating and information processing times, data and gr aphic used would need to be proportionally scaled to oper ate at a manageable scale for efficient processing. This can potentially be problematic when importing several data layers is ne cessary for final visualization and communication graphic output. Google SketchUp SketchUp was originally released as a general purpose 3D software system in the early 2000Â’s as a way for designers to loosely experiment with their designs in a simple and easy to use format (Google). Originally developed as an independent software system, since its original release date, Google has continually put resources into developing SketchUp into a very valuable design tool.


44 Benefits Originally provided as a free software package, Google SketchUp still offers a free version in addition to its commercial Google SketchUp Pro software package. Although some features, such as the ability to import AutoCAD files, are limited, Google SketchUp’s free version still can be of use in showing sea level rise in relation to the built environment in three-dimensional form. With Google’s collaborative nature, SketchUp can be seamlessly be integrated into other software developed by Google. Google Warehouse can be a particularly useful tool to use existing models in sea level rise visualization scenarios. In addition, SketchUp models can also be placed directly into Google Earth for viewing. Users have the ability to specifically direct where models are placed into the Google Earth interface. The combination of SkecthUp and Google Earth provides and extremely valuable tool in the visualization and communication of sea level rise, particularly in urban areas. For urban areas or built elements not currently modeled, users have the ability of modeling 3D buildings into SketchUp through the use of Google Earth imagery. This can provide a very compelling view of the built environment or particular built elements in a specific study ar ea under various sea level rise scenarios. Another advantage with Google SketchUp is the ability to create animated scenes within the software package. Taking full advantage of the three dimensional capabilities of SketchUp, users can animate 2D maps, combined with 3D models, to show a ‘flyover’ view of various sea level rise scenarios Limitations The most significant limitation Google SketchUp has is the ability to process large file sizes. While SketchUp is not considered a fully 3D design software system, the models created within SketchUp can create relatively large file sizes in a short amount of time. Through the addition of existing models


45 in the Google Warehouse library SketchUp models can begin to operate slowly. This can cause not only frustration, but loss of valuable processing time. It is best to know your project limits and focus SketchUp efforts in those geographical areas, limiting contextual land areas to the absolute minimum needed. Although contour lines can be imported from other software packages, such as ArcGIS, or even created from scratch in SketchUp, topography can be awkward to duplicate in SketchUp. With sea level rise relying heavily on accurate topography, this can be a prob lematic situation. For this reason, it is highly recommended that any sea level rise visualization or communication pr oducts created in SketchUp are classified as approximations of sea level rise, and should not be used for exact locations of where sea level rise may occur. Image Editing Tools While the scientific data based and even drafting tools, can be classified as tools for development, rendering tools outlined in this section can be classified as the finishing tools. These tools are often used in th e latter stages of communication and visualization graphic development. While the tools used in prior steps form the foundation of visualization and communication tools, the rendering tools can provide finishing touches for a more clear comprehension of data. These tools are especially useful when sea level rise communication and visualization studies call for phot orealistic looks into sea level rise scenarios. Adobe PhotoShop First released in the late 1980Â’s PhotoShop is a widely used graphic editing program. Currently part of AdobeÂ’s CreativeSuite, PhotoShop has become a useful tool for Figure 4-2: Editing performed in PhotoShop illustrates what a sea level rise of 6ft may look like ar ound Marineland, FL (photo credit NOAA/GTMNERR, graphics by author)


46 designers and planners in the cr eation and finishing stages of presentation graphics. Benefits The entire Adobe CreativeSuite has become such a widely used software package, it is often readily available in most planning and design office s. Although the individual software programs of Creati veSuite can require a working knowledge for high-quality production levels, a beginner can produce acceptable visualization and communication products with little training and a general understanding of a few basic commands. As a graphic editing software program, users have the ability to gather images directly from their specific study area to begin to visualize and communicate sea level rise in areas familiar to participants in public workshop settings. With an advanced PhotoShop user, 2D vi sualization and communication tools can be produced to mimic 3D tools, and take much less time to develop. Limitations The main limitation of PhotoShop when editing graphics is the program graphics setup. PhotoShop is a raster based program, where the graphic output consists of multiple pixels. While this generally does not create a notable difference in photo quality, resizing an image can be problematic due to the pixilation of images. When in creasing the size of an image within PhotoShop, there will be a loss of image quality due to the raster image pixels. For th is reason, it is suggested users determine the desired image size before beginning any image editing within the PhotoShop prog ram. This will ensure the final visualization or communication graphic is of the highest quality. NOAA CanVis CanVis is a visualization program developed by the NOAA Coastal Services Center specifically for showing the potential impacts of development or other coastal issues, such as sea level rise (NOAA Coastal Services Center). Similar to PhotoShop, CanVis is primarily an image editing program.


47 Using a selected background image, users can then begin editing and manipulating the backg round image as desired. To ease the image editing process, CanVis has an organized library of images available for download. These library images can be directly inserted into the existing background image to add a sense of realism to the background image. Library images range from buildings to wildlife, and are organized by category (NOAA Coastal Services Center). Benefits Developed by NOAA, CanVis is a program completely dedicated to aiding the planning and design community. Available free of charge, CanVis in an excellent editing tool when visualization or communica tion graphics are needed in short order. Most tools have been designed to maximize efficiency and ease of use CanVis requires very little training to operate, making it an appropriate choice for users who desire to edit images, but lack the experience to effectively operate Adobe PhotoShop. The user functions are very easy to operate and training videos are readily available for those users wishing to learn more advanced skills in the CanVis pr ogram. In addition to the training videos online, users have exposure to live technical assistance if needed while using the CanVis tool. The existing library of images provides a central location to find appropriate images to help personalize your final sea level rise visualization or communication image. Other image editing software programs would require the user to seek out these images separately, format them for use, and implement them into the background image. CanVisÂ’ library eliminates the search for these types of images in most cases. Limitations CanVis seems to be geared more towards visualizing the built environment as opposed to the natural environment. While sea level rise can be represented, the tools used to do so may be easier to use through Adobe PhotoShop for the experienced user. Not nearly as advanced as PhotoShop,


48 CanVis does a good job of providing the necessary tools for basic editing capability, but it may be necessary to export and image from CanVis for more adv anced editing in PhotoShop. Rendering Software When using a 3D modeling program, such as SketchUp, and aiming for photorealistic visualization and communication graphics, often times rendering software can be very useful in creating photorealistic images to illustrate landscape changes. Software is offered either as a plug-in or standalone rendering program. Plug-ins operate with in your 3D modeling program, while the standalone rend ering programs operate independently of any 3D modelin g software. Listed below are a collection of some notable rendering programs widely used: • SU Podium • Indigo Renderer • SU Podium • IDXRenditioner • LightUp • LumenRT • Maxwell • Render[In] • Shaderlight • Twilight Render • VRay • Kerkythea • SU Walk • Artlantis • 3D Studio Max Benefits Rendering software programs have the ability to add lifelike quality to images, with very little training. Most rendering software programs simply require minor adjustment of settings, then proceed to self-process images. The rendering programs have the ability to take artificial looking images and process them into high qu ality photorealistic images. Limitations With several rendering software programs, the main limitation is long processing times. With models of large file size, the processing of images can take several hours before completion. Rendering programs have the ability to work with a smaller, defined area of models, rather than the entire model. As described when working with SketchUp, a target area must be defined to minimize file sizes before initiating the rendering


49 process. It should also be no ted, these programs will only be used in projects where 3D mo dels have been created in drafting software programs, such as SketchUp. While rendering software programs are popular among most designers, they are not necessarily a common software package maintained by typical planning offices. For this reason, it may not prove to be a cost effective decision to utilize rendering software, unless it is deemed absolutely necessary, or has been suggested by stakeholde rs or other interested parties. Time Lapse Sequencing Tools The tools described in this section outline software program to aid in the creation of time lapse images related to sea level rise and its effects. While using 2D maps of sea level rise scenarios is a widely used approach for communicating and visualizing sea level rise, animating these same results provides a dynamic component to presentations. Showing community workshop participants a time lapsed view of sea level rise can greatly increase the ability to re cognize areas of change in the landscape. Windows Movie Maker Windows Movie Maker is a video creation and editing software program included wi th Microsoft Windows until the release of Windows 7. Windows Movie Maker is stall available for free download through the Microsoft Download Center (Microsoft). Through the use of Window Movie Maker, users have the ability to capture an d edit video, or even create their own animations from scratch. Benefits Windows Movie Maker has been developed in a userfriendly manner, allowing users with little to no experience the ability to take advantage of its creation and editing capabilities. The layout allows users to place still image files onto a timeline, giving the user the ability to build their own timeline of still images to be animated. The transition function


50 of Windows Movie Maker allows for smooth transition of still images into a compelling, animated video clip. For new users to Windows Movie Maker, an ‘AutoMovie’ function allows users to take advantage of predefined settings to make a movie. This can be a nice way to understand the variable elements used to create animated video clips. This function will use templates for creating the proper text for title, transitions between still images, and any additional effects Directly within the interface of Windows Movie Maker, the user also has the ability to add text or audio for descriptions throughout the animation. This proves to be very valuable when showing landscape changes as a result of sea level rise when changing variable are involved. Through the addition of text, descriptors such as sea level rise, time change, and landmark locations can easily be shown on screen. The ability insert audio during the animation, gives users another option for describing landscape change seen on screen. Voiceovers can serve as a way to point out specific areas or changes that your sea level rise project would like to draw specific attention to. Limitations In terms of strictly the animation capabilities of Windows Movie Maker, the main limitation is the export function of the software. Only able to export files in Windows Media (.wmv) and Audio Video Interleave (.avi) files types, Windows Movie Maker files may required the use of other software if these standard file types are not supported or desired. iMovie Software for Apple Macintosh (Mac) Billed as the Windows Movie Maker equivalent for Apple users, iMovie is a similar software program used for video editing. Similar to Wind ows Movie Maker, iMovie is a standard software program includ ed in the iLife suite of Mac products (Apple).


51 Benefits With many similar benefits of the Windows Movie Maker software, iMovie becomes more of a user preference decision above anything else. iMovie has more advanced editing features, such as adding so und effects to video clips, but as an overall package, generally accomplishes the similar goals of Windows Movie Maker. As with other Apple products, the ability to sync iMovie with other Apple applications can reduce the design time of creating animated movie clips. In addition, iMovie has an expanded ability to be used seamlessly on Apple supported mobile devices. This can be a great advantage for creating short animations during public workshops while getting feedback from participants. Limitations Limitations with iMovie relate mainly to the standard concerns with Apple products. The reality is Microsoft is a much more widely used platform than Apple is. This can create the need for additional conversion software to format videos into an acceptable format. Miscellaneous Tools Personal Photography Personal photography can often be an overlooked component to creating meaningful visualization and communication tools for sea level rise. Often times, so much emphasis can be placed on modeling different sea level rise scenarios that researchers can forget what actually exists on the ground. Existing conditions and landmarks are important to note in all projects dealing with sea level rise. There is simply no better tool, or approach for documenting these conditions than through the use of personal photography. Benefits The most obvious benefit to personal photography is the inherent exposure to your specific study area. Valuable knowledge can be gained about the composition of your target study area simply through self-exploration. One disadvantage


52 often encountered by research teams, is the lack of local knowledge. Through exploration and documentation of existing conditions, researchers can begin to understand what many local experts already know. This knowledge gain can create for more meaningful interactions with stakeholders and public workshop participants. The use of personal photography also allows for researchers to add a personal feel to communication and visualization tools. Often times, local citizens can voice areas of specific importance in the study area. The existing conditions of these areas can then be documented, and subsequently shown in later visualization products to illustrate how they may change over time as a result of sea level rise. Areas identified by citizens as having particular importance, often are what give the region its unique sense of place. It is important to address the potential changes which could occur through personal photography. Limitations The main limitation of personal photography is the time invested in photographing your study area. While the time may be well invested, phot ography excursions must be strategically planned prior to a rrival at the study area. The ability to view areas of interest may also be limited by your transportation mode. When dealing with sea level rise, often times areas of importance may only be accessible by water, requiring the use of a boat, canoe, or kayak. These issues must be properly prepared for ahead of time to ensure time is spent wisely while photographing the study area. Without local knowledge, the ability to identify appropriate or effective areas to photography could be limited. Use of an educated, lo cal guide can prove beneficial for photographing appropriate area s. While local guides can be extremely helpful, and sometimes absolutely necessary, this can often come at an additional cost. Again, these issues should


53 be planned for ahead of time to ensure a photography excursion to the identified study area is conducted in the most efficient manner possible.


54 V. Visualization and Communication Approach After detailed research and review of existing data and techniques available for the visualization and communication of sea level rise, it is important to spend time developing a visualization and communication approach. This will not only include a needs assessment of what goals are desired, but also an understandi ng of the role perception and emotion can play when visualizing and communicating sea level rise. When policy decisions are being made it is imperative that decision makers take into account public perception when addressing controversial issues, such as sea level rise (Responsive Management). For this reason, it is equally important that research teams understand the role of public perception in their work as well. A core goal of this project is to provide a resource for informed policy change relating to sea level rise. For this goal to be accomplished, it is essential to understand what factors have been found to shift public perception of visual and communi cation products related to sea level rise. An initial bias may exist as a result of media coverage surrounding climate change. It is important to communicate the desire to remove politics from any sea level rise dialogue, rather focusing on the science being presented. It should be noted that the key to effective visualization and communication is to properly use a mix of the methods outlined in the previous section, Technology Analysis and Summary. Standing on its own, no single approach will suffice as an effective approach for communicating the effects of sea level rise. This section serves to assist planning by providing a process for determining the proper mix of techniques to most effectively communicate and visualize sea level rise for target audiences. Associated Responses from Exposure to Visual Stimuli Throughout the stakeholder workshop process, visualization and communication tools used will greatly affect the perception of sea level ri se by participants. In a 2005 report, Stephen R.J. Sheppard out lined a range of responses to


55 climate change (Sheppard). Through the use of SheppardÂ’s findings, a deeper understanding can be realized on the range of responses possible through the use of certain visualization and communication tools. In hi s research, Sheppard identifies three main types of responses to imagery: cognitive, affective, and behavioral (Sheppard). Discussing each of these responses will begin to build a vision for the mix of tools needed to engage workshop participants in the most effective manner Cognitive From an educational standpoint, cognitive responses serve as the most important type of response elicited through the use of visualization and communication tools. These responses relate to the ability to comprehend data, often a problem when presenting highly complex scientific data. With low comprehension rates, feelings of skepticism can often arise, which must be appropriately addressed. Traditionally, lower comprehension levels have been thought to result in higher levels of skepticism, however, this belief has recently been called into question by Yale researchers (Sahlberg). This underscores the need for visuali zation and communication tools to focus on the cognitive abilit y of workshop participants to comprehend data, rather than making attempts to reduce skepticism. Cognitive responses can often be achieved through a combination of conceptual landscape visualizations and nonvisible information (Sheppard). Examples of tools and approaches to be used in triggering cognitive responses may include: PhotoShop Renderings Text and Numerical Data 3D Models 2D Informational Maps Conceptual Rendering Approach Time Lapse Images Static Images


56 Affective Affective response theory focuses on the emotions of workshop participants. A range of positive and negative responses should be expected, and encouraged, in any workshop setting. This range of emotions creates a dynamic environment for workshop participants to express their feelings. Participants will become personally invested in the project, if their needs and emotional responses are acknowledged. Imagery communicating and visua lizing environmental hazards, such as global sea level rise, can often cause emotional responses. Triggering these responses in a structured and organized manner is a valuable component to successful workshops, fostering an engaging and open atmosphere. These emotional responses can typically be triggered through the use of visualization and communication tools geared specifically for the study area. Affective responses tend to increase through the use of la ndscape visualizations showing what changes may look like in a local, identifiable place (NOAA Coastal Services Center). Showing a well-known historical landmark being inundat ed by sea water can be one way to trigger an emotional response. Examples of tools and approaches to be used in triggering affective responses may include: PhotoShop Renderings 3D Models Personal Photography Photorealistic Rendering Approach Time Lapse Images Static Images Behavioral Behavioral response theory explores the potential of cognitive and affective responses to combine, creating the potential for changing behavior. An importance must be placed on understanding how heavily communication and visualization tools can affect decision making. Again, in this projectÂ’s scope,


57 workshops should not strive to ch ange personal behavior, but to simply provide data and information in a manner easily processed to support changes in the planning process to address sea level rise. Workshops should, however, strive to initiate a full range of emotional responses to create the highest level of engagement. To initiate behavioral responses, tools will typically focus on realistic im agery presented in a dramatic way, perhaps even illustrating how making behavioral changes can have a positive effect on sea level rise (Sheppard). Example of tools and approaches to be used in triggering behavioral responses may include: PhotoShop Renderings 3D Models Photorealistic Rendering Approach Dramatic Scenarios Personal Photography Time Lapse Images Static Images Needs Assessment for Visualiz ation and Communication Tools While visualization and communication tools will be refined throughout the stakeholder workshop process, it is important to begin to build a needs assessment of your intended audience. Identifying preliminary core needs will create a baseline level of visualization and communication tools to be assessed during the stakeholder workshops. These core values should be discussed with fellow research and project team members to build a unified vision for key areas to target and test. Some of the key areas discussed may be universally applied to other projects, however, it is essential to conduct your own needs assessment to identify all needs unique to your study area. Graphic Clarity An important need for any workshop setting is the necessity for clearly unde rstandable visualization and communication tools. The tools used within workshop settings


58 should have a consistent structure enabling participants to have a high level of comprehension. High levels of comprehension will engage workshop participants in intelligent discussion based on the data given. On the other hand, if visualization and communication tools are diffi cult to understand, much of workshop will spent debating the visualization and communication methods, rather than the implications of sea level rise. Reliability Visualization and communication tools must be reliable and able to address skepticism from the onset. Workshop participants will always want to know how your research team has arrived at the data presen ted. Some communication and visualization tools will have sc ientific data to support their reliability while non-scientific data must have an intelligent basis to support their use as a reliable tool. Ideally, through the use of a wide variety of visualization and communication tools, even the non-scientific data based tools formulated can loosely incorporate a reliable scientific data tool in during their initial creation phase. For example, in this project, it was determined a 6 foot sea level rise would be shown in most non-scientific data based tools. Using the NOAA Sea Level Rise Viewer and SLAMM data produced by research team me mbers, PhotoShop renderings were produced to roughly illustrate different inundation levels at specific geographic locations. In this scenario the reliability lies in the ability to reference the SLAMM data and NOAAÂ’s Sea Level Rise Viewer tool as a source for projecting inundated areas within the specific location selected. The basis for using 6 foot (1.82 meters) as the max inundation level was based from the desire to include a wide range of sea level rise scenarios. By doing so, this also allowed visualization and communication graphics to show significant chan ges over time. Varied Scales Another component for testing deemed important was the ability to gauge the effect of different scales on perception.


59 The effects of sea level rise are global, therefore, can be shown at a very large scale. However, these same effects have large impacts at the local level as well. The ultimate goal of a research project should also be to provide guidance for the scale of visualization and communica tion tools. For example, if a project is aiming to inform policy changes to protect historical landmarks, it may be necessary to focus visualization and communication tools on a much smaller scale as opposed to the regional scale needed for projects aimed to inform policy changes related to statewide habitat corridors. In the case of the GTM Preserve, a variety of goals on large and small scales must be achieved, so a variety of regional and local scales were deemed necessary. Variety of Sea Level Rise Scenarios & Horizons Understanding the planning horizon associated with your particular project is a valuabl e piece of information when formulating a visualization and communication approach. If uncertain of the planning horizon, or the need to accommodate a variety of planning horizons exists, a variety of sea level rise scenarios can be applied. Uncertainty in sea level rise projection data also requires some flexibility for applying a variety of sea level rise scenarios. With varying sea level rise scenarios and time horizons being predicted, the determination to include a range of sea level rise scenarios will enable visualization and communication tools to address sea level rises that may vary from the projected sea level rise. For example, showing sea level rise at multiple levels will illustrate how changes occur over time, rather than simply focusing on one specific sea level rise scenario. Address Habitats Within the GTM Research Reserve, it was deemed extremely important to look at the relationship between habitats and sea level rise. Research plays an important role within the GTM Research Reserve, so monitoring any shifts in habitats was a component deem ed important to visualize and communicate in workshops. In addition, the GTM Research


60 Reserve, and surrounding land, serve as an important ecological linkage for Florida, as it has b een designated as a portion of the Florida Ecological Greenways Network (Alderson and Pennington). Address Infrastructure As with most sea level rise projects, infrastructure encroachment and associated loss is always a concern. Gradual sea level rise can put a slow, but steady strain on infrastructure maintenance budgets. Until abandonment is deemed necessary for some infrastructure, continued maintenance can be very costly. For this reason, the ability to identify and communicate particularly vulnerable areas was another component deemed to have particular importance for this project. Identifiable Landmarks or Points of Interest Within the GTM Research Reserve and surrounding areas, many geographic locations exist which are easily identifiable for local residents. Through the desire to trigger a full range of emotional responses, the use of local landmarks or points of interest was also deemed to be an important component to be included in visualization and communication tools. The use of identifiable, local landmarks and locations enable workshop participants to visualize what changes may occur in locations personally familiar. Rather than using artificially created scenarios in unfamiliar places, the use of identifiable location provides personalization to the visualization and communication tools. Comparison and Selection Process With a clear understanding of potential responses from visual stimuli and the needs of th e intended audience, specific tools can be selected through a detailed comparison. Some aspects of the visualization and communication tools will not require any comparison, as they may be the only tools available to form the desired visualization and communication tool. Other aspects may have several options, in which case a comparison matrix can be helpful in determining the best


61 methods for producing the desired results. It is important to use the information gathered in the needs assessment phase to guide the comparison and selection process. Always have a clear understanding of the ultimate goal when selecting existing tools to create new visualization and communication tools. In the case of the GTM Research Reserve study, the available tools for modeling and mapping sea leve l rise required a comparison matrix to select the best tools to use for communication and visualization. This section will outline the comparison and selection process used to select the existing tools for creating visualization and communication tools for the testing phase of the GTM Research Reserve study. Begin with Most Complex Comparisons It is best to start by creating comparison matrices for the most complex elements, such as existing sea level rise maps. Many options may be available for use, but it must be understood what each product offers to effectively choose the proper tool for use. Projects may have several components needing a comparison matrix to effectively evaluate capabilities, however, in the GTM Research Reserve study, the only area deemed complex enough to requ ire a comparison matrix was the available options for modeling and mapping sea level rise. Looking back to the needs assessment, the following characteristics were deemed to be the most important for modeling and mapping sea level rise: Accuracy Able to analyze habitat areas Able to analyze infrastructure loss Suitable for large and small scales Open source or free of charge Minimal level of training required Capable of animation Ability to be customized


62 Realizing not all of these identi fied characteristics can be satisfied through one method, the comparison matrix allows for an easy side-by-side comparison. Through the comparison matrix (refer to Appendix B), an effective blend of existing tools can be formed to create visualization and communication products for the testing phase. Through the use of the comparison matrix, the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model and NOAA Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Map were chosen to be used for further testing. While other model and mapping approaches were deemed valuable for use as visualization and communication tools, the two methods chosen were believed to give the research team the best ability to test a wide variety of factors with minimal production time. Using NOAAÂ’s map, allows for the use of existing data, while the SLAMM data will allow for the testing of a GIS mapping approach completely generated by the research team. The results gathered from testing these two specific tools will prove useful later in the study as well. Techniques used to refine these visualization and communication tools can later be used to formulate similar tools in subsequent stages of the visualization and communication tool development process. Need Based Tool Selection To finish the selection and comparison process, review the needs assessment created earlier. This step serves to ensure the research team will be able to address all needs of the intended audience through the visualization and communication products created. Certain tools may address more than one identified need, and will be accordingly documented as doing so. Tools selected for use should be placed in a list, giving a brief description of the product and the needs they will address. Selected Tools for Use The tools outlined in this section represent a collection of tools identified as key to addressing the needs of potential workshop participants in this study. These tools may not


63 necessarily be the only ones used throughout the duration of the overall development of visualization and communication tools, as new ones may evolve throughout the development process of the final visualization and communication tools. Some of the tools listed below may have similar visual quality, thus are not needed for the testing phase. For example, 2D maps produced from ArcGIS modeling typically have a similar quality and appearance; therefore, we only w ill need to test one of the GIS modeling programs selected, rath er than both the HAZUS and SLAMM outputs. This will help to minimize redundancy in the testing portion of the communication and visualization development process, as well as keeping the testing phase at a manageable level. The following tools were identified as the tools to be explored further, as they were determined to provide the most comprehensive look at visualizing and communicating the effects of sea level rise: NOAA Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Map – will provide 2D inundation maps for the study area (moderate accuracy, suitable for large scales, variety of sea level scenarios) Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) – will provide a scientific data based map to illustrate the movement of habitats (potential for high accuracy, addresses habitat, can be shown at varied scales, can show variety of sea level rise scenarios) Hazards United States (HAZUS) – will provide a scientific data based map to illustrate the risks for infrastructure as a result of sea level rise (potential for high accuracy, addresses infrastructure, can be shown at varied scales, can show variety of sea level rise scenarios) AutoCAD – will provide a scientific data based map to illustrate the movement of habitats (potential for high accuracy, addresses habitat, can be shown at varied scales, can show variety of sea level rise scenarios) ArcGIS – will provide the means for using and manipulating the visual setup of highly scientific data maps (potential for high accuracy, can be shown at varied scales, can show variety of sea level rise scenarios)


64 NOAA’s CanVis Software – will provide a method for photorealistic imagery, and the potential for use in showing effects to local landmarks and identifiable locations. (potential for high accuracy, can be used at varied scales, can show variety of sea level rise scenarios) Adobe PhotoShop – will provide a method for photorealistic imagery, and the potential for use in showing effects to local landmarks and identifiable locations, often is used in place of 3D due to its lower production times (will potential for high accuracy, can be used at varied scales, can show variety of sea level rise scenarios) Personal Photography – will provide local imagery for use in visualization and communication tools (high accuracy through existing documentation, can be shown at varied scales) Windows Movie Maker – will enable still images to be animated through a simple video editing process (can show variety of sea level rise scenarios through animation, will enhance comp rehension level, can easily be used at a variety of scales)


65 VI. Tool Selection and Survey Development Once visualization and communication tools have been established to appropriately address the needs of the research study, these tools must be condensed for testing. It would not be possible to test all available visualization and communication tools effectively; therefore, a collection of tools must be selected and developed to be representative of the entire visualization and communica tion approach desired. Once tools have been developed, they can be properly tested and subsequently analyzed, providing conclusions to formulate the final visualization and communication tools used for effective, engaging stakeholder workshops. It should be noted that throughout the entire visualization and communication tool development process, new methods and tools may be discovered. At the culmination of each stage in the development process, a valuable step would be to reassess your visualization and communication tools to ensure they are still addressing the intended needs of your audience. In the context of this project, the re commendation has been made to review visualization and communication tools with the steering committee at the completion of each development phase. Visualization and Communication Development for Testing In the development of tools for testing, we revisit the tools selected in our comparison and selection process, outlined at the end of the previous chapt er. This will serve as our base point for creating the tools to be tested. Again, the tools Figure 6-1: Process diagram illustrating steps to be taken for the development and testing of visualization and co mmunication tools


66 selected in this phase are simply what have been determined to represent the visualization and communication approach most effectively for the testing phase. The results from testing will be used to further develop visualization and communication tools for use in the stakeholder meetings. The tools selected to be utilized and developed for the testing phase include: NOAA Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Map Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) ArcGIS NOAAÂ’s CanVis Software Adobe PhotoShop Personal Photography Windows Movie Maker Through the use of these tools, a variety of categories could be analyzed during the testing phase. Tools were selected mainly on their ability to gauge how perception changes with different visualization and communication tools. Specific categories and their influence on perception to be analyzed through the use of the selected tools include: Scale Mapping Color Schemes Still Imagery Time Lapse Imagery Photorealistic Conceptual Scenarios 2D Maps Use of Scientific Data Projections Creation of Visualization and Communication Tools Combinations of existing and personally developed tools were formatted for the testing phase. This section will outline the process of creating the tools used for testing, why they were selected as tools appropriate for testing.


67 NOAA Sea Level Rise and Coas tal Flooding Impacts Map During the existing tool rese arch phase, this tool was found to have most of the qualities desired for an inundation map to illustrate where open wa ter may be located at varying levels of sea level rise. Rather than creating a new inundation map, NOAA’s tool was selected as a potential substitute for redundant inundation maps which would potentially cost money and time to produce. As mentioned during the research phase, users have the ability to view several maps besides sea level rise within the same interface. This, in combination with aerial imagery, makes this tool a useful ‘off the shelf’ technology to be utilized as a visualization and communication tool throughout the entire project. If proven to be success ful in the testing phase, possible expansion of this tool is possible through the use of the additional maps available through this interface. Formatting this tool for testing was a fairly simple process. Still images and time-lapse images were desired to be shown from this particular too l. Screen shots were taken of the sea level rise tool at one foot intervals beginning with current sea levels and ending with a 6 foot sea level rise, creating a total of seven still images. These screen shots were then edited in PhotoShop for l abeling and further clarity. To produce a time-lapse sample for testing, the seven still image files were placed into Windows Movie Maker for editing, producing a Windows Media file (.wmv) of roughly 30 seconds in length. Figure 6-2: An example of a NOAA Coastal Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Map used for testing (adapted from model by NOAA)


68 Figure 6-3: An example of a NOAA Coastal Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Map and the 7 image files produced to merge, and animate, for time-lapse images used durin g the testing process (adapted from model by NOAA) Figure 6-5 (left): Areas in red indicating high frequencies of coastal flooding (adapted from model b y NOAA ) Figure 6-4 (right): Areas in blue indicating 80% confidence level of flooding at 6ft sea level rise, orange are flooded areas with less than 80% confidence levels (adapted from model by NOAA)


69 Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) During the testing phase, another desire was to test the use of a highly scientific data based model for visualization and communication usage. The SLAMM data was chosen due to the extreme importance of marsh habitats as they relate to the GTM Research Reserve. An expert with experience in creating SLAMM data was needed to create preliminary data. This process can be complex, so it is highly recommended an individual with experience is in corporated when the use of a scientific data based model is desired. The expert was able to produce raw data for SLAMM projections of habitat shifts from 2010-2100, a time horizon of most current sea level rise projections. The raw data was then imported into ArcGIS as individual layers to be edited for visualization and communication simplification. The raw SLAMM data had a total of 16 categories, based on the we tland categories described in Appendix A, ‘NWI Classes to SLAMM’. It was determined a more effective way to illustrate these habitat changes over time would be to consolidate these 16 categories into 5 classes based on similar characteristics as outlined in their descriptions shown in Appendix A. The following categories were formed and edited in ArcGIS to simplify the visual quality of SLAMM data maps: Dry Land – Developed Dry Land and Undeveloped Dry Land Categories Swamps – Swamp, Cypress Swamp and Scrub Shrub Categories Marshes – Inland Freshwater Marsh, Salt Marsh, and Mangrove Categories Beaches – Estuarine Beach, Tidal Flats, and Ocean Beach Categories Open Water – Inland Open Water, Estuarine Open Water, and Open Ocean Categories To test affect color schemes has on perception, it was determined dry land would be represented in two manners: a gradient of green to blend in wi th other categories and a bold shade of red to stand out among all other categories. The


70 hypothesis was individuals woul d be able to perceive habitat shifts and the effects of sea level rise better when dry land is shown in a bold color, showing plainly the effects of sea level rise and associated loss of dry land. To show these separate color schemes, it was necessary to edit the symbology in the pr operties of each data layer to represent these changes. Once symbology is set in one data layer, this symbology setting can be saved and applied automatically to other data layers imported, rather than manually changing symbology for all data layers. Once the symbology has been set for all data layers, labeling and exporting image (.jp g) files of the associated maps can begin. If only still images are desired, exporting map images for the years needed is a rather simple process. However, time-lapse images were needed for testing in this project, so exporting a map image every two years of the model horizon was needed, creating roughly 40 image (.jpg) files. Using a process similar to developing NOAAÂ’s tool for testing, the exported map images were bought into PhotoShop for minor editing and labeling. To create the time-lapse images, all exported map images for each color scheme were Figure 6-4 : Identical SLAMM data illustrating dry land shown in two differing techniques (SLAMM data produced by A. Linhoss, graphics produced by author)


71 imported into Windows Movie Maker and edited to create a time-lapse image clip for each respective color scheme. Lastly it was determined the SLAMM data would provide a valuable opportunity to test the effect of scale on perception, so it was determined a finer scale should also be represented in the testing of the SLAMM data. The ability of ArcGIS to produce maps of varying scales provided the opportunity to test this aspect of perception. The exporting of map images was repeated, along with editing in both PhotoShop and Windows Movie Maker to create additional visualization and communication products. The end result was the creation of two sets of images at different scales, a smaller scale at 1:6,000 and one larger scale at 1:12,000. These images were represented by tw o color schemes in both still image and time-lapse form to provide a comprehensive testing tool. Photorealistic Conceptual Scenarios Through the needs assessment and tool selection processes the value of photorea listic conceptual scenarios was identified early on. These can be created and developed through a variety of approaches, some of which may include very complex software programs to create photorealistic scenes. When comparing the potential methods for creating photorealistic conceptual scenarios, it was important to refer back to the guiding principles ou tlined in Chapter III. Rather than investing money into complex software systems during the testing phase, it was deemed more appropriate to use a more cost effective approach of blending PhotoShop, personal photography, NOAAÂ’s CanVis software, and Windows Movie Maker to create photorealistic scenarios. Often, the problem with ph otorealistic scenarios created in PhotoShop is the lack of scient ific basis for their development. To address this problem, SLAMM data and the NOAA Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts tool were used as a


72 reference for how sea level rise may occur in specific areas. While this approach cannot be deemed scientifically valid, the use of scientific data and models as a reference point provides a more realistic approach to illustrating where sea level rise may occur and at what level of severity. Photography was used from online sources, as well as from personal site visits to the GTM Research Reserve study area. Specific photographs were selected on their ability to test a variety of scales and th e use of identifiable geographic locations. The final photographs selected included the following images: BirdÂ’s Eye Aerial of Marineland BirdÂ’s Eye Aerial of Pellicer Creek Detailed Marsh Aerial of Pellicer Creek Aquatic Preserve Ground-Level Perspective of Princess Place Lodge Through the combined use of NOAAÂ’s CanVis tool and PhotoShop, photographs were edited using the scientific data based tools as a reference point for where sea level rise should be shown at certain levels. Using the same approach as de scribed previously, image files were exported and labeled for each increment of sea level rise Figure 6-5 : Image of Pellicer Creek, showing current conditions and what a 4ft sea level rise may look like in this area (Photo credit NOAA/ GTMNERR)


73 desired. This process created the still images needed, which were then imported into Windows Movie Maker for the creation of the time-lapse images. Survey Development With the identification of specific categories needed to be tested and appropriate visual and communication graphics created, we can now begin to select and develop an approach for testing our visual and communication tools. The information gathered through this phase of testing will initiate the first step in the accumulation of data to be used throughout the entire visualization and communication tool development process. Testing Group Identification and Selection To begin with, a group of potential participants must be identified. The selection of participants must be completed prior to developing testing methods, as the testing method may change depending on your test parti cipants. For this project, it was determined to be extremely important all visualization and communication tools not only were easily understood, but also portrayed information as intended by scientific data modelers. For this reason, the decision was made to target individuals with an above average knowledge of sea level rise to participate in the testing of visualization and communication tools. Knowledgeable individuals will ensure all steps are being taken to provide the most effective tools in terms of both accuracy and visual quality. Within this research proj ect, four main groups of individuals were identified as high-quality candidates for the testing process: the grant proj ect research team, grant project steering committee, staff members of the GTM Research Reserve, and University of Flori da students currently enrolled in sea level rise education courses. It is important to engage all parties directly involved in the research process, especially in the initial stages, to create a unified vision for the visualization and communication approach.


74 Grant Project Research Team The grant project research team was an obvious choice for involvement in the testing process, as they will be the individuals producing some of the scientific data used in the study areaÂ’s sea level rise models. It is important they are involved in the process of communicating their data to ensure accuracy of data is maintained throughout the development process of out visualization and communication tools. It is also important they be involved to stay educated on the tools developed, as they may be called upon to represent their scientific data during stakeholder workshops. Grant Project Steering Committee The grant project steering committee will continue to play an important role in the visualization and communication development process as they hold valuable knowledge about this geographic region. Exampl es of industries represented within this group include: fore stry, real estate development, ecotourism, and environmental planning. The grant project steering committee possesses a variety of interests and will provide feedback based on several different viewpoints on the topic of sea level rise. They have the unique ability to provide feedback with knowledge of the local area. This will, again, ensure we are accurately portraying the area properly. As previously mentioned, the grant steering committee should serve as a guide throughout the entire project, making involvement in the initial stages of visualization and communication tool development crucial. GTM Research Reserve Staff Members The GTM Research Reserve staff members have the most intimate knowledge of specific geographic locations within the GTM Research Reserve. This group in primarily consists of scientists actively involved in research within the GTM Research Reserve, or are actively involved in public education and communication of environmental issues concerning the GTM Research Reserve. Their knowledge will enable the visualization


75 and communication tools to accurately visualize and communicate the potential changes for specific land areas within the boundaries of the GTM Research Reserve. University of Florida Students The inclusion of students became a natural fit for this project, as they were currently learning about the implications of sea level rise on the Gulf Coast village of Cedar Key, FL through a studio course. Their selection for participation was based on the desire to have them apply knowledge learned throughout the semester towards their perception on sea level rise. The opportunity for them to participate in the testing process not only provided data from a younger demographic, but also presented a learning opportunity for them to be exposed to different methods of viewing the effects of sea level rise. Testing Tool Method Analysis Once the test participants have been identified, a test method can then be explored and selected. The collective makeup of your participants will provide guidance needed to select an appropriate testing me thod. Studying the needs of the participants in this project it was determined the following needs must be met in any testing method: Ease of Use Flexible Timeframe Ability to Show Color Images Ability to Show Color Video Clips Ability to Provide Both Open and CloseEnded Questions The need for showing color video clips immediately eliminated most all hard copy formats. One method for working around this problem would be to conduct a group survey and project video clips during the administration of a test or survey. However, with th e geographic distribution of test participants, it was determined an online survey would be better suited for the participants. The flexibility of an online survey tool allows for participants to log-in from a variety of


76 locations to complete the survey, allowing flexibility in both time and location. With a limited amount of time, it is essential that all steps are taken to accommodate a variety of availability schedules for completing the survey. A quick analysis of online survey options led to the selection of SurveyMonkey for the administering of the survey. Through a combination of customer support, cost-effectiveness, and analysis capabilities, S urveyMonkey offered the best package for effectively measuri ng the effectiveness of the preliminary visualization and communication tools. Development and Pre-Testing of Survey Tool The development of the online survey will serve as an important phase where a clear structure is followed. Identification of participants an d their needs has taken place, but now is the time where the n eeds of you, the researcher, must be accounted for. Beginning with a discussion of the main objectives of the survey, the final survey tool can begin to be developed. Objectives of Survey Clear objectives must be outlined for the development of the survey tool, as these will eventually guide the content of the survey questions. It is import ant that objectives are not only clear and concise, but perhaps most importantly, measurable (Thomas). For this survey, the following objectives were identified: Identify and prioritize threats related to the effects of sea level rise Identify a priority of strategies to address sea level rise Identify level of urgency to address sea level rise Measure ability to identify habitat change as a result of sea level rise Measure ability to identify areas of land affected by sea level rise Identify variables which improve the effectiveness of graphics visualizing and communicating sea level rise


77 Measure the effectiveness and preference of still images vs. time lapse images to show the effects of sea level rise Measure effectiveness of photorealistic conceptual scenarios to show sea level rise Measure the ability of still images and timelapse images to alter perception related to the level of urgency to address sea level rise Content of Questions The content of the questions will depend on the survey objectives previously outlined. Each of these objectives should be addressed with a set of qu estions to provide measurable results. Quantifying open ended questions can be difficult and cumbersome to complete, so th e use of close-ended questions are preferable to create the most efficient process for analysis of the data. For this specific project, two open ended questions were saved for the end of the survey to give participants the ability to provide feedback. Other open-ended opportunities were provided throughout the survey only as a means to clarify certain responses to questions. In the survey created for the GTM Research Reserve study, topics addressed through questions included: Knowledge level of sea level rise Potential threats from sea level rise Specific habitat types affected by sea level rise Strategies to address sea level rise Immediate need of incorporation of sea level rise by decision makers SLAMM data Compelling nature of photography Effectiveness of NOAAÂ’s Sea Level Rise Viewer


78 Structure of Questions The structure of questions should be developed in a consistent manner. This allows for participants to easily become comfortable with the format of the survey. Typically giving no more than five options for any of the questions, participants had a limited number of choices to choose from. In a visualization preference survey, this is key, as participants are encouraged no to think too in-depth about the questions asked, but rather provide their immediate first im pression for their answer. Likert items, which show an incremental range of answer choices, were often used throughout the survey to accurately measure the effectiveness of the visualization and communication tools being exposed to. This applied a valuable educational measurement tool using a psychometric approach though the placement of a valu e on the effectiveness of the visualization and communication tools being used. Structure of Survey In terms of developing the actual structure of the survey, it is best to divide the survey in to sections according to similarity of information being gathered. In the GTM Research Reserve project, the following sections were identified: Demographics Baseline Knowledge Survey Sea Levels Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) Preferences Sea Level Rise Inundation Preferences Photorealistic Sea Level Rise Preferences Post Survey Assessment By systematically dividing the survey into sections, information is being organized in a manageable way for easy viewing and navigation by survey participants. An organized structure also provides partici pants with the opportunity to quickly move through the survey as they become more


79 comfortable with the question fo rmats, requiring less time for completion. It is also recommended to begin the survey with easily understood questions, which are equally easy for all participants to answer. By positioning easily understood and formatted questions at the beginning of the survey, the participant immediately feels comf ortable with the format and is encouraged to complete the survey in its entirety (Dillman, Tortora and Bowker). More complicated survey questions were reserved for later in the survey, which consisted mainly of the time-lapse image questions. For ease of use, the videos were embedded within the survey an d hosted on YouTube, a free video hosting website. Length of Survey Several research studies have been performed to determine the optimal survey le ngth, which much of the data providing conflicting data. Generally, is it assumed the estimated length of survey has a negative effect on response rates to the survey (Galesic and Bosnjak). For the ease of administration and respect to the time commitment of participants, a goal of roughly 30 minutes was set for the length of survey. Pilot Test Survey Tool Once the preliminary survey has been compiled, a pilot test should be conducted to evaluate the effectiveness and ease of completion. Particularly with online surveys, pilot tests can play an important role in ensuring an efficient survey tool has been developed. When selectin g participants for the pilot test, they should be selected from a p ool of individuals outside of the participants targeted as final survey participants. The surveyÂ’s integrity can be compromised if survey participants are exposed to questions prior to the final testing phase. Pilot test participants should be instructed to provide feedback for any problems encountered during their completion of the survey. They should also be encouraged to each use a different type of web browser to complete the survey, as


80 difficulties associated with the survey could be uniquely related to the type of web browser being used to complete the survey. It should also be noted ideally the pilot test participants will have little existing knowledge of the subject matter prior to completion of the pilot test. By utilizing participants with little existing knowledge, potential problems with the survey are more likely to be discovered. The objective of this phase is to discover any potential problems or formatting issues needing correction before final development and administration of the survey tool occurs. In addition to discovering potential problems, this phase should be utilized as an opportunity to verify the survey length falls within the desired completion range. Finalize Survey Tool Once all potential problems and difficulties have been identified and completion time has been verified, the final development of the survey tool can begin. During this process, it is important to test all time-lapse and still images are functioning properly and formatted in a manner easy to comprehend. Once final spelling and grammar checks are complete, the survey is then ready to be administered to targeted participants (Refer to Appendix B for Survey Example). Administer Survey Tool Dealing with a relatively small number of targeted participants, response rate was de termined to be an important focus of administering the survey. Utilizing the research of Don Dillman, an approach centering ar ound effective communication can yield high response rates de sired for the implementation of any survey (Dillman, Mail and Internet Surveys: The Tailored Design Method). Adapted from Dillman’s research, three phases of communication were app lied to attract high response rates: Prenotice Letter – Email or message sent a few days prior to survey instructions


81 Instruction Letter – Email or message sent explaining instructions for completing the survey and explanation of why the participant’s response is important Thank You Letter – Email or message thanking all individuals for their participation and offer to answer any additional questions pertaining to the survey Communication was carried out depending on the intended audience. The GTM Research Reserve project hosts project information on Basecamp website, a web-based project management software system. Through this system, all steering committee and research team members have access to select information and project updates. Using the message function of Basecamp, all steering committee and research team members received communication pertaining to the survey through this method. Without having access to the Basecamp website, all communication with the University of Florida students was conducted through email with facilit ation of their class instructor. The survey for this specific project was administered entirely online through the SurveyMonkey website. No more than five years ago, concerns with online surveys existed due to the lack of internet access in certain geographic areas. While this concern still exists today, internet access has become less problematic when administeri ng online surveys. When gathering survey data from primarily rural areas, it is recommended to plan for administering some surveys through traditional methods such as: face-to-face, mail, or telephone interviews. When time-lapse and still images are required for survey data collection, it is recommended to conduct group survey sessions to accommodate this component. Overcoming Obstacles Regardless of steps taken to eliminate obstacles during the administration of surveys, issu es are bound to arise. Even the most minor issues can hinder the results of a survey, and must be properly addressed. In the case of the GTM Research Reserve survey, all obstacles encountered were related to occasional inability to view the time-lapse images. As with any obstacle, the more organized survey information is stored, the


82 easier problematic issues will be to deal with. To overcome the inability of some participants to view time-lapse images, all images were made availabl e for download to the survey participants. They were able to access files corresponding with the appropriate question numbers and subsequently download the still or time-lapse images to their personal computer for viewing.


83 VII. Survey Resu lts and Analysis Out of 41 participants targeted, 35 responded for a response rate of 85.3%. The gender of all respondents was evenly distributed with 55% of participants being female and 45% male, while the average age of all participants was 41 years old. Complete results can be found in Appendix C of this document. Surveys were adminis tered and organized into three separate categories of participants: GTM Research Reserve/project team members, steering committee members, and University of Florida studen ts. Through the use of this organizational structure data coul d be analyzed collectively or studied in more detail within th eir corresponding groups. The data gathered was analyzed and organized according to its ability to address the survey objectives outlined prior to the final development of the survey tool. Overall, the visualization an d communication tools, and survey in general, was very well received. Out of all survey participants 59% said they either ‘Agree’ or ‘Strongly Agree’ their knowledge concerning the topic of sea level rise had increased as a result of exposure to the visualization and communication tools shown in the survey. Even more encouraging, 77% of survey parti cipants said they ‘Agree’ or ‘Strongly Agree’ that they woul d feel comfortable using the visualization and communication tools presented to communicate and visualize the effects of sea level rise in a group workshop setting. Priority of Threats Related to Sea Level Rise Pre-Survey Participants were asked to list the level of severity of various threats as a result to sea level rise in Florida over the next 100 years. The purpose of gathering this data was to discover common threats which could be a focus of visualization and communication tools, as well as discussion point in stakeholder meetings. This data was able to give insight into what may be some areas of co ncern for planners to address when incorporating sea level rise into planning policy.


84 Participants were asked to classify the severity from ‘Not Severe At All’ (rating of 1) to Very Severe (rating of 5). Out of all responding participants, loss of habitat was the threat classified as the most severe as a result of sea level rise, specifically within the research team members and GTM Research Reserve staff. Overall, 82% of participants classified the loss of habitat as ‘Severe’ (r ating 4) or ‘Very Severe’ (rating 5), the highest among any ca tegory. Among GTM Research Reserve staff and project team members, 89% classified the loss of habitat as ‘Severe’ or ‘Very Severe’, with 42% of them classifying habitat loss as a ‘Very Severe’ threat. Among the student category, increased storm surges and water quality were threats classified as most severe. All participants within the student category classified increased storm surges as either ‘Severe’ or ‘Very Severe’, while 83% classified water quality as eith er a ‘Severe’ or ‘Very Severe’ threat. A trend among the entire survey group was the viewpoint of decreased tourism and loss of historical landmarks being perceived as the least severe threat. Decreased tourism was the only category labeled as ‘Not Severe At All’ by multiple participants. Among a ll participants surveyed, only 9% classified decreased tourism as a ‘Very Severe’ threat. The loss of historical landmarks was classi fied as being either ‘Slightly Severe’ (rating 2) or ‘Somewhat Severe’ (rating 3) by 36% of participants. Among the steerin g committee, 50% labeled the loss of historical landmarks as either ‘Slightly Severe’ or ‘Somewhat Severe’, which was a surp rising result considering all steering committee members liv e within 1 hours driving distance from historic St. Augustine, FL.


85 Post-Survey Participants were asked at the end of the survey to classify the level of severity of the same categories asked prior to being shown sea level rise visualization and communication graphics. At this point the par ticipants had been exposed to a variety of visualization and communication approaches illustrating the effects of sea le vel rise. The expectation was participants would have an increased perceived level of severity of most categories. Post-Survey When analyzing the post-su rvey data, this was indeed the case, as most categories sa w roughly a 4% increase in the perceived level of severity. The only category to see a decline in the perceived level of severity was the loss of historical landmarks, which was already determined to be the least severe threat, according to the pre-survey data gathered from all participants. No shifts in priority were observed among the specific groups of participants, with the students still perceiving increased storm surge as the most severe threat, while both the GTM Research Reserve staff/project team members and Pre-Surve y Severit y of Threats O p inion Post-Survey Severity of Threats Opinion Figure 7-6: Survey data comparing participantsÂ’ pre-survey (top) and post-survey (bottom) on the severity of various threats possible from rising sea levels


86 steering committee groups perceiving loss of habitat as the most severe threat. Priority of Strategies to Address Sea Level Rise Pre-Survey When building a visualization and communication approach for sea level rise, it is important to understand what strategies to address sea level rise are important to people. Gathering this data helps to inform communicators what possible strategies, such as the construction of seawalls, should be incorporated into modeling and visualization techniques for the effects of sea level rise. The purpose of this objective was to gather data to inform the refinement of visualization and communication tools to address strategies found to have particular importance to individuals when addressing sea level rise both currently and in the future. Participants were asked to rank five strategies from ‘Best Strategy’ (rating 1) to ‘Worst Strategy’ (rating 5). The five strategies listed were: Barriers (Locks and Dams) Land Acquisition Coastal Armoring (seawalls) Managed Retreat Innovative Construction The participants were asked to rank these strategies in term of present day and twenty years from now, to determine if time plays a factor in the perceived e ffectiveness of these strategies. Among all survey participants, the best strategies were much more clear and defined at the present time, but when analyzing the data for best strategies twenty years from now, a consensus among all participan ts is harder to define. Governmental land acquisition was classified as the best strategy at the present time, with 50% of all participants classifying it as the ‘Best Strategy’. Closely behind governmental land acquisitio n, 30% of all participants classified managed retreat as the ‘Best Strategy’.


87 On the opposite end of the spectrum, of all participants surveyed, 60% classified coastal armoring as the ‘Worst Strategy’ for the present day, with the construction of lock/dams being the next worst with 18% of all participants classifying it as the “Worst Strategy’. When thinking in terms of classifying these strategies twenty years from now, the results began to distribute more evenly across all options. 30% of all participants classified governmental land acquisition as the ‘Best Strategy’ to be applied twenty years from now, a decrease of 20% from where participants had classified it as an effective present day strategy. Managed retreat saw an increase of 12%, as 42% of all participants felt this was the ‘Best Strategy’ to be applied twenty years from now, making it the most popular option. This tell us that as sea level rise is incorporated into future planning, strategies for accommodating population retreat from at-risk areas should be a top priority. The same strategies that were classified as ‘Worst Strategy’ at present day remained consistent when thinking in terms of twenty years from now. Coastal armoring and the construction of locks/dams were still the top two choices for ‘Worst Strategy’, which was some what surprising. This illustrates that even as sea level rise may become more severe, large scale, coastal barriers are not seen as a viable option to most individuals. Instead, focus should be placed on natural adaptation to sea level rise. Post-Survey Towards the end of the survey, participants were asked to again classify strategies to address sea level rise in terms of their effectiveness both at the present day and twenty years from now. Results remained fairly consistent compared to data gathered prior to being exposed to visualization and communication tools for sea level rise, however, it did seem as though participants were moving more toward a consensus for best strategies for present day application.


88 Among all participants, 56% classified governmental land acquisition as the ‘Best Strategy’ for present day, an increase of 6% from the pre -survey data. Managed retreat still remained the second most popular choice, with 26% of all participants viewing it as the ‘Best Strategy’ for current day, a decrease of 4% from pre-survey data. We can make the assumption from these results exposure to visualization and communication tools showing sea level rise can help to build a consensus for best strategies to address sea level rise. A comparative analysis of the resu lts is shown on the following page.


89 COMPARISON 7-1: PRE-SURVEY DATA COMPARISON 7-2: POST-SURVEY DATA Best Choices for Addressing Sea Level Rise Presently Best Choices for Addressing Sea Level Rise 20 Years from Now Best Choices for Addressing Sea Level Rise Presently Best Choices for Addressing Sea Level Rise 20 Years from Now


90 Identify Level of Urgency The purpose of this objective was to measure the sense of urgency in terms of incorporating sea level rise into planning policy. By gathering this data, we can begin to see the effects exposure to visualization and comm unication tools can have in a workshop setting. Participants were asked to state their agreement level, from ‘Strongly Disagree’ to ‘Strongly Agree’, in response to the need for decision makers to immediately incorporate strategies to address sea level rise. In the pre-survey question ing, 90% of participants surveyed said they either “Agree’ or ‘Strongly Agree’ with the


91 need for decision makers to immediately incorporate strategies to address sea level rise, with 70% of all participants specifically saying they ‘Strongly Agree’ with the need for decision makers to immediately incorporate strategies to address sea level rise. During the post-survey questi oning, 96% of participants surveyed said they either ‘Agree’ or ‘Strongly Agree’ with the need for decision makers to immediately incorporate strategies to address sea level rise, an in crease of 6% over pre-survey data. 71% of surveyed participan ts specified they ‘Strongly Agreed’ with the need for decision makers to immediately incorporate strategies to address sea level rise, an increase of 1% over pre-survey data. From this data we can conclude there is a positive correlation between exposure to visualization and communication tools and increased perceived urgency for the incorporation of strategies to address sea level rise. Ability to Identify Habitat Change Participants were exposed to SLAMM data shown in several different forms to determine the effectiveness of showing habitat change at thro ugh various scales and display methods. Illustrating habitat chan ge is an important component, due to the presence of the GTM Research Reserve. We have already discussed the importance of habitat loss as illustrated through data gathered from survey participants, so understanding what methods are effective will help us to refine visualization and communication tools to properly illustrate where habitat change is happening. When exposed to SLAMM data showing dry lands represented with a shade of re d, participants were able to more clearly identify areas of habitat change. Showing an image of 2011 habitats at a sc ale of 1:12,000, participants were able to completely identi fy different areas of habitat 13% better when dry land was re presented as red. When the same approach was used at a 1:6, 000 scale, participants were similarly able to completely identify areas of habitat 13%


92 better when dry land was repres ented as red. Although the increase was similar, the overall ability to completely identify areas of different habitat was consistently 4% better when viewing habitats at the sma ller, 1:6,000 scale. When specifically asked which scale they preferred to view SLAMM data at, 57% of participants sa id they preferred to view SLAMM data at the smaller, 1:6,000 scale, while just 10% said they preferred the larg er, 1:12,000 scale. When analyzing data using time lapse images to show SLAMM data, similar results were discovered in terms of scale and the representation of dry land. Participants viewing SLAMM data time-lapses at the larger 1:12,000 scale could completely identify habitat ch anges 11% better when dry land was represented as red. At the smaller 1:6,000 scale, participants were able to completely identify habitat shifts 7% better when dry land was repres ented as red. Participants viewing SLAMM data at the 1:6,000 scale, with dry land represented as red, were able to completely identify habitat shifts the best. 33% said they could completely identify habitat shifts, as opposed to 11% of them being able to completely identify habitat shifts at the 1:12,000 scale, with dry land being represented as a shade of green. When comparing data be tween time-lapse and still photos, the ability of participants to identify areas of habitat shift did not vary much. Lookin g at each category, the highest identification of habitat shift for both still images and timelapse images occurred when l ooking at SLAMM data at the 1:6,000 scale, with dry land be ing represented as red. 30% of participants said they could completely identify habitat shifts when viewing the still images, while 33% of those same participants said they could completely identify habitat shifts using the time-lapse images. From this data, we can make the assumption individuals prefer to view SLAMM data with dry land being easily identified with a bolder colo r, while also being shown at smaller, city scales, rather than larger, regional scales. Viewing

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93 the data by using time-lapse images vs. still images may provide additional clarity, but this difference will be most likely be small, unless looking at smaller scales than tested in this survey. It should be noted the SLAMM data model’s ability to be viewed in smaller scales can be dependent upon the level of accuracy of the input data. If high resolution elevation data can be used, the ability to view accurate SLAMM data at smaller scales increases. A comp lete comparison analysis of the SLAMM data testing can be found on the following page. COMPARISON 7-3: SLAMM DATA VIEWED AT 1:12,000 S CALE TO IDENTIFY HABITAT SHIFTS COMPARISON 7-4: SLAMM DATA VIEWED AT 1:6,000 SCALE TO IDENTIFY HABITAT SHIFTS Ability to Identify Habitat ShiftsStill Images Ability to Identify Habitat Shifts – Time-Lapse Images Ability to Identify Habitat Shifts Still Images Ability to Identify Habitat Shifts – Time-Lapse Images

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94 Ability to Identify Areas of Sea Level Rise To gather data to measure ability to identify areas of sea level rise, individuals were exposed to time lapse and still images at different scales showing SLAMM data and maps developed from NOAA’s Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Map tool. The data collected here will help to develop how SLAMM data and inundation maps are shown in stakeholder workshops. When analyzing still images viewed using SLAMM data, 57% of participants preferred to view maps at a smaller 1:6,000 scale as opposed to 10% of participants who preferred to view SLAMM data at the larger 1:12,000 scale. When looking at the partici pants’ ability to identify sea level rise using SLAMM data, much like viewing the habitat shifts, they had a greater ability to identify sea level rise at the 1:6,000 scale when dry land wa s represented as red. When viewing SLAMM data at a 1:6,000 scale, with dry land represented as red, 30% of par ticipants could ‘Completely’ identify areas of sea level rise as opposed to just 14% of participants viewing the same dat a with dry land represented as a shade of green.

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95 82% of participants who vi ewed time-lapse images preferred them over still images, yet when identifying areas of sea level rise ability to identify areas of sea level rise was only marginally increased by viewing time-lapse images as opposed to still images. At the highest le vels of identification, 37% of participants were able to completely identify areas of sea level rise, while 30% of participants we re able to identify areas of sea level rise using still images with the same scale and visual characteristics. Using this dat a, time and efforts should be focused on improving the time-lapse images to increase participants’ ability to identify areas of sea level rise. When viewing maps derived from the NOAA Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Map tool, 30% participants were able ‘Completely’ identify areas of sea level rise using time-lapse images as opposed to 21% when using still images to view sea level rise. Using a similar approach to the SLAMM data, time and efforts would be well spent to improve the timelapse component to help participants better identify areas of sea level rise. Comments were given for possible improvements to time-lapse images such as highlighting areas of land lost to sea level rise and adding landmarks or points of interest for reference. A complete com parison analysis of survey data relating to SLAMM data and the ab ility to identify areas of sea level rise will be found on the following page. Figure 7-8: Survey results indicating a preference for time-lapse as opposed to still images use to show area of sea level rise

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96 COMPARISON 7-5: SLAMM DATA VIEWED AT 1:12,000 SCALE TO IDENTIFY AREAS OF SEA LEVEL RISE COMPARISON 7-6: SLAMM DATA VIEWED AT 1:6,000 SCALE TO IDENTIFY AREAS OF SEA LEVEL RISE Ability to Identify Areas of Sea Level Rise Still Images Ability to Identify Areas of Sea Level Rise – Time-Lapse Images Ability to Identify Areas of Sea Level Rise Still Images Ability to Identify Areas of Sea Level Rise – Time-Lapse Images

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97 Identify Variables to Improv e Effectiveness of Graphics As determined through analys is of the collected data, a main focus of improvement should be placed on the time-lapse components of the visualizatio n and communication tools. Adding more contextual inform ation to map images was listed as a desire of some participants, specifically adding the ability to see where certain cities or landmarks are located at. Some participants were interested to see more of a focus on infrastructure loss, rather than vegetative or habitat loss. Development of the HAZUS model data further should satisfy this need of participants but is also dependant on the availability of that data. Other avenues and methods for visualizing and communicating infrastructure loss should be explored. Effectiveness and Preference of Time-Lapse vs. Still Images Information gathered related to the effectiveness and preference of still images vs. time-lapse images informs the research team where to best invest their time in the further development of visualization and communication tools. Throughout the survey, data co llected indicated a strong preference for time-lapse images over still images; however participantsÂ’ ability to identify ch anges as a result of sea level

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98 rise was only marginally increased with the use of time-lapse images. As mentioned before, efforts should be focused on improving the ability to identify changes using time-lapse images. Effectiveness of Photorealistic Conceptual Sea Level Rise Scenarios Participants surveyed responded overwhelmingly positive towards the photorealisti c conceptual renderings of sea level rise. All time-lapse and still images shown were classified as either ‘Compelling’ or ‘Very Compelling’ by at least 80% of participants, with some of the time-lapse images receiving a similar rating by 96% of survey participants. While the timelapse images were perceived on average to be 7% more compelling than still images, the still images were found to be perceived as either ‘Compelling’ or ‘Very Compelling’ by 83% of participants on average. It would be wise for the research team to further expand the depth of photorealistic conceptual renderings to capture a more comprehensive set of sea level rise still and time-lapse images for the study area. Data for both still images and time lapse images can be found below. Figure 7-9: Survey results indicating how compelling survey participants felt the pho torealistic conceptual still images were

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99 Ability of Exposure to Imagery to Alter Sense of Urgency Gathering data on participants’ sense of urgency related to implementing strategies to address sea level rise can provide insight into the ability of visualization and communication tools to enact policy change. If tools are properly formatted and presented, and can be shown to create a sense of urgency, changes to incorporate sea level rise into planning policy can be much more attainable. When asked prior to viewing any visualization and communication tools, 55% of participants ‘Strongly Agreed ’ with the statement “it is imperative that decision makers begin to incorporate strategies to combat sea level rise immediately”. When participants were asked the same question after viewing all communication and visualization tools, 71% of participants surveyed ‘Strongly Agreed’ with the same statement. This tells us that when properly formatted and pr esented, visualization and communication tools have a significant impact on the sense of urgency related to the incorporation of sea level rise into planning policy. Figure 7-10: Survey results indicating how compelling survey participants felt the photo realistic conceptual time-lapse images were

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100 VIII. Future Development of Visualization and Communication Toolbox for Stakeholder Workshops Using the information gathered during the testing phase, this stage of the visualizati on and communication tool development process will lead your research team into the stakeholder workshops. While some visualization and communication tools may have been more successful than others, it is important to keep all tools currently developed in an organizational structure able to be easily referenced. Simply because one visualization or communication tool is not successful for one group, does not be the same tool cannot be successful for another group of individuals. Thus far we have determined general viewing preferences for sea level rise, but more specific preferences will be disc overed through the stakeholder workshop process. As we move forward, we can organize our visualization and communications tools into a ‘toolbox for planners’. For the GTM Research Reserve study project, through research and extensive survey data gathered we have determined tools will be organized under the following categories: Habitat Loss Infrastructure Inundation

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101 Photorealistic Renderings Within these categories, further development will take place as the research team gathers data. It should be understood, not all data may not be available before the stakeholder workshops begin; therefore, it is important to have a wide variety of tools developed to effectively visualize and communicate the effects of sea le vel rise in your study area. A brief discussion on each select ed category will further explain what types of tools may be use d to effectively visualize and communicate data related to the assigned category. Habitat Loss Through the survey data and research, habitat loss has been determined to be the most concerning threat in this region. Developing the SLAMM data further to visualize and communicate habitat loss will be an important step to complete for effective stakeholder meetings to take place. As more accurate elevation data becomes available, it will be important to appropriately update any visualization and communication tools related to the SLAMM data. As discussed by survey participants, a desire for more detailed looks at the SLAMM data exists. The success of bein g able to deliver this relies heavily on more accurate elevation data becoming available. Infrastructure Effectively visualizing and communicating infrastructure loss will rely heavily on the intelligent use data produced from the HAZUS modeling process. Much like the SLAMM data, it can be assumed stakeholder workshop participants will have the desire to view data at specif ic, targeted areas of interest. Survey participants stated they would like to view SLAMM data in detailed geographic regio ns where change was noticeably occurring. In the same respect, it can be assumed stakeholder workshop participants will wish to view areas of high risk for infrastructure loss when viewing HAZUS data. As data becomes

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102 available, HAZUS visualization and communication tools should be developed in a similar manner to the SLAMM data tools. Inundation Inundation can be shown using a variety of tools. Through the survey it was est ablished SLAMM data and the NOAA Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Map are both valuable tools for visualizing and communicating sea level rise inundation. In incorporating survey data, simple maps illustrating areas of land loss can prove to be valuable tools for stakeholder workshops. Using on e of the existing inundation tools, a simple 2D map can be created to show inundation levels during various sea level rise scenarios. As mentioned during the survey analysis, time and effort would be well spent improving the clarity of the SLAMM data time-lapse images as well. Participants responded well to exposure of the time-lapse image s, but had a difficult time identifying specific data cont ained within the images. By isolating the open water cate gory in the SLAMM data and placing these images over aeri al photography, individuals should more easily be able to identify areas of sea level rise. Figure 8-1: Isolating the open water categories defined in the SLAMM data, an inundation simulation can be developed using the scenarios calculated by SLAMM (SLAMM data provided by A. Linhoss, graphics by author)

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103 Photorealistic Renderings As mentioned during the survey analysis, the photorealistic rendering were the most well received visualization and communication tool shown. For this reason, development of these tools will consist more about building a more extensive library of phot orealistic rendering tools, in addition to the ones previously developed. It may be determined through the stakeholder workshops additional tools should be used to achieve a more extensive library of photorealistic renderings. When adding methods to the process, it is important to always keep in mind the ability to transfer this process to other locations. Use of the stakeholder workshops will help to gauge the feasibility and effectiveness of using additional methods for the visualization and communication of sea level rise. Effective use of the stakeholder workshops will allow for expansion of the category by encouraging participants to Figure 8-2: Using AutoCAD and PhotoShop, maps were created to show resulting land loss from sea level rise (shown in red). Survey participants expressed a desire for areas of l and loss to be shown through simple mapping procedures. These also c an be developed into time-lapse images.

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104 identify specific geographic area s, landmarks, or buildings they are concerned about losing due to sea level rise. Customizing the tools to represent local characteristics is an important goal of the overall visualization and communication tool development. Using the stakeh older workshops to gather this information will greatly assist in the ability to expand what was determined to be our most preferable delivery method of visualizing and communicating the effects of sea level rise. IX. Conclusion While the data gathered and tools produced as a result of this project set the stage for successful and engaging stakeholder workshops, it should be understood visualization and communication tools should be refined throughout each phase of community workshops. It is important to use each phase as an opportunity to gather more information and better focus the visualization and co mmunication tools towards the intended audience. The process developed through this study provides a documented process for effective visualization and communication tool development for conducting effective, engaging sea level rise stakeholder workshops. Significant findings have been discovered through the completion of a comprehensive literature review on existing techniques, preliminary visualization and co mmunication tool development, survey data collection, and final refinement of visualization and communication tools. Figure 8-3: Photorealistic rendering using personal photography, NOAAÂ’s CanVis tool, and PhotoShop to show what a 2 meter sea level rise may look like at Princess Place Lodge, within the GTM Research Reserve (photo and graphics by author)

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105 Planners and designers have an obligation to provide their expertise to engage public discussion on controversial topics such as sea level rise. Specifically, this study has illustrated how landscape architects can play a vital role in facilitating an engaging public involvement process by utilizing their natural skillset. Often, the public involvement process can be difficult to initiate without the develo pment and use of effective visualization and communication t ools. Ultimately, this project serves as the a manual to help bridge the gap between comprehension of scientific data related to sea level rise and informed decision making. Main Study Findings and Products for Future Use Literature A comprehensive literature review of existing methods for visualizing and communicating sea level rise provides planners with a useful manual when developing sea level rise visualization and communication tools for other regions. By providing a comprehensive look at existing techniques, planners no longer need to spend valuable time researching effective methods to visualize and communicate sea level rise in their area. From this manual, planners can review the current tools available to select which one be st represent the goals of their sea level rise discussion. Development of Survey Tool for Measuring Effectiveness In terms of research and planning, this study has documented the process for developing an effective survey tool for measuring the success of visualization and communication tools. This template can be applied in any coastal region of the country, and is particularly useful for other NERR sites across the country. The documentation of the process is a valuable manual for others to follow if adaptation of the survey tool is needed. Through a review of the process, other researchers and planners can view the problems encountered through this process and how to overcome these obstacles. Data Analysis of the Role Visualization and Communication Tools Have on Perception and Knowledge

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106 The survey data collected provides documented reasoning for the development of visualization and communication tools for sea level rise. The data was able to illustrate the positive effect visualization and communication tools can have on the sense of urgency needed to encourage policy changes to incorporate sea level rise. The data was also shown to have a very positive effect on the knowledge level of individuals, even people who ar e considered to be experts on the topic of sea level rise. This provides further documentation of the need to provide effective visualization and communication tools for more informed decision making related to the incorporation of sea level rise into governmental policy. Documented Transferrable Process for Planners and Researchers This research project has also been able to document and plan out an entire visualiz ation and communication process for future planners and researchers to apply in other sea level rise projects and discussions. The manner in which this entire visualization and communication tool development has taken place has been rigorously documented to provide an efficient process for other planners and rese archers to use leading up to workshops centered on sea level rise and its effects. Moving forward, this process will be available for other researchers and planners to use and further refine to fit their needs. Enhanced Toolbox for Visual Comm unication of Sea Level Rise This study began with a discussion of the important role landscape architects can play when formulating visual communication tools for sea level rise discussions. Through this research it has now been demonstrated how through the use of standard tools of landscape architects, such as PhotoShop and AutoCAD, existing sea level rise tools can be easily enhance to provide compelling visual communication tools for sea level rise planning workshops. Where simple 2D mapping techniques and still images have been traditionally used to show change over time, simple time-lapse images can be shown to provide a more compelling

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107 look at the potential changes coastlines may experience as a result of sea level rise. Recommendations and Further Steps to be Taken Several important lessons can be learned from this visualization and communication tool research study; however further steps can be taken to enhance the methods deemed successful through this research. As this research deals with several different computer applications, technology will be continually improving, creating opportunities for more accurate and compelling visual communicati on products to be developed and refined. Outlined in the following sections, further recommendations for enhancing this study have been provided. Continuation of Phased Project This project was able to document the process and steps to be taken from sea level rise project kick-off, and leading into stakeholder workshops. This is si mply Phase One of a proposed three-phase process. Phas e Two and Phase Three would involve the application of approaches found to be successful in this study to be completed during community workshops, ultimately culminating with a pu blic presentation of the final tools refined throughout the workshop process. Continuous refinement of the visualization and communication tools is recommended to take place moving forward into the group stakeholder workshops and public workshop stages conducted during the University of Florida grant project. This will not only produce a higher quality visual communication product for the grant project, but continue to provide detailed documentation for a transferrable visualization and communication tool for use during the entire planning process. An important assessment and re view of tools must take place at the culmination of each of the three phases in the overall process. This will ensure any new tools developed on the market have been included in the existing visualization and communication tool assessment. Technology is continually being improved upon, which leads to the continuous review of

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108 technology being a mandator y step for successful visual communication tool implementation. Use of Advanced Technology as Budget Allows It should be noted at this stage it was determined not to be cost effective to implement the Visual Nature Studio software into the visualization and communication tools. However, it is recommended this software package be discussed with the research team and potentially accommodated into the projectÂ’s financial budget. Not only will this tool provide a 3D component to the visualization and communication toolbox, but it also has the ability incorp orate GIS modeling data as it becomes available later in the project. Further discussion to assess Visual Nature Studio so ftware feasibility is highly recommended. Development of Persona Profiles With the recommendation of applying the tools developed from this study in community workshop settings, a great opportunity for testing innovative planning approaches can be capitalized upon. Persona marketing has been a universally applied science in a variety of business settings. Most often utilized to understand buyer segments of a population, persona marketing builds artificial profiles to represent a targeted group of use rs. In the case of community workshops, each workshop could be used to help further define potential groups to target visual communication graphics towards. For example, one community workshop may identify a heavy population of male, climate change skeptics. Through surveying their preferences when viewing visual communication graphics in community workshops, a persona profile can be built to explore what methods are most effective in fostering positive, engaging behavior from males who are skeptical of climate change. Over time, this same appr oach could be applied in other locations around the world, slowly building persona profiles for future sea level rise community workshops. If

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109 properly organized and promoted these persona profiles could be accessed during future sea level rise planning efforts. 3D Nature, LLC. 3D Nature Home Page. 2011. 20 December 2011 . Alderson, Doug and Dan Pennington. FloridaÂ’s Evolving Large Scale Ecological Greenways System. Research Summary. Seattle, WA: Plum Creek Foundation, 2010. America Speaks. Engaging Citizens on the Tough Issues. Washington, DC, April 2006. Apple. iLife '11. 2012. 20 January 2012 . Climate Central. Surging Seas. 14 March 2012. 16 March 2012 . Clough, Jonathan. "The SLAMM Model Presentation." Waitsfield, VT: Warren Pinnacle Consulting, Inc., 18 March 2010. Dillman, Don A. Mail and Internet Surveys: The Tailored Design Method. New York City: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2000. Dillman, Don A, Robert D Tortora and Dennis Bowker. Principles for Conducting Web Surveys. 5 March 1999. ERSI. ArcGIS for Desktop. 12 January 2012 . Esri. COTS GIS: The Value of a Commercial Geographic Information System. Redlands, CA, August 202.

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Festival Park A Downtown Revitalization Park Project Orlando, Florida Orange County


Angela M. Mazol Senior Capstone Project i


Prepared For: University of Florida College of Design, Construction and Planning Department of Landscape Architecture Faculty Advisor: Chris Lathrop Capstone Coordinator: Les Linscott Spring 2011 ii


Acknowledgements : A special thanks to my family, especially to my parents for giving me the love, support and encouragement in helping me succeed my in goals. iv


Table of Contexts: Festival Park Proposal Page 1 17 Festival Park Final Presentation Page 19 45 Concluding Thoughts Page 46 Bibliography Page 48 49 Appendix Page 50 56 Page 57 58 vi
































Conceptual Design A 27


Conceptual Design B 28


Conceptual Design C 29


































Concluding Thoughts: From the very beginning of my early thoughts of a Capstone project, I knew that I wanted to work on a park project. Parks are slipping away from neighborhoods, communities, downtowns and many other areas. I find it sad and disappointing that people are forgetting to spend time outdoors. People need to remember to just listen to nature and enjoy once in a while. The use of parks need to be in peoples everyday lives for their well being and appreciation to the natural environment. My hope is to see children and families spending more time together and doing so by spending their time together outdoors. My main intent for Festival Park was just that it is for neighbors and community members to go to the park and celebrate something unique and memorable. Since working on my capstone project independently from start to finish for the past 8 months, I have a better understanding that projects do not just appear out of mid air. I realized that the whole design process is a long and time consuming process. But, in the end of all the late nights of staying up working and the countless hours put into the final 46


Scholarly Books: Urban Streetscape: a workbook for designers. By: Gibbons, Johanna. Published: Cambridge, MA: B. Blackwell c1991 Safe and aesthetic design of urban roadside treatments. By: Dixon, Karen K. Published: Washington, DC. Transportation Research Board, c2008 Soil Survey of Orange County, Florida. By: US Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the University of Florida, c1989 Parks: Design and Management By: Phillips, Leonard E. Published: McGraw Hill Inc., c1996 Urban Green: City Parks of the Western World. By: French, Jere S. Published: Kendall/Hunt Co., c1973 Park Management. By: McCurdy, Dwight R. Published: Southern Illinois University Press, c1985 Bibliography: 48


Websites: (Neighborhood Facts/Figures) ( Base map ) (Photos, Barcelona etc.) (Skate Park Image) (Context, Existing Roads, Neighborhoods) (Robinson St./TG Lee Milk District) (Plant photos and plant information) (Downtown Statistics and Executive Airport info) (Plant images and plant information) (Plant images, Design Detail images, Site Example Photos) (Amphitheater measurements and design specifications) (Bio swale plant information and plant images) (Plant images and plant information) (Park de Diagonal Mar photos and site information) (Discovery Green Park site information and photos) 49


Appendix: : 50














City of Orlando: AutoCAD File of Festival Park Northern Part of Park 57


Southern Part of Park 58