Dashboard Web application: Toronto Flood Events 2013-2017
By: Mohamad Fawaz Al-Hajjar
Geovisualization Project, @RyersonGeo, SA8905, Fall 2019
Toronto has been affected by many flood events, but the biggest modern event happened in July, 8th, 2013, when a thunderstorm passed over the city and broke the record when Toronto received huge amount of rain reached to 126mm, that caused major transit delays, power outages, flight cancellations and many areas flooded throughout the city; in order to visualize such phenomena and monitor the number of events per Toronto ward, web application dashboard has been implemented to inactively visualize the historical data, which also could be used to map the real time data as an optimal way to utilize the web dashboards.
The technology that has been used to interactively visualize flood events data in Toronto is Esri Operations Dashboard, which was released in December, 2017 and has become an effective tool for the Esri users, which allow them to publish their Web Maps via dashboard by applying simple configuration without writing a single line of code. The project has followed the below methodology.
- Data Review and Manipulation
After obtaining the open data from two main sources, TRCA Open Data Portal and Toronto Open Data Portal, with other different data sources which have been reviewed and visualized in ArcMap application 10.7.1 release. Some of the data had to be cleansed, such as Flood Plain Mapping Index and property boundary shapefiles, other data were derived from polygon shapefile “flood-reporting-wgs84” for Toronto wards, where the total number of flood events stored by year from 2013-2017. A derived data-set produced as a point shapefile events points by using generating random point tool from polygon in ArcGIS ArcToolbox.
In addition, another data set have been created, the Property boundaries which have been intersected and clipped with the flood plain feature to generate the flooded properties per ward, which is also spatially joined with the wards to inherit its attributes. that could be configured in the dashboard to show the number of flooded properties per ward.
List of Data-Set Used:
Stormevents (derived from Flood reporting polygon) (Toronto open data)
Property per ward (derived from Property boundary and Flood reporting polygons) (Toronto open data)
Flood Events renamed to (Flood reporting polygons) (Toronto open data)
Toronto Shelters (Toronto open data)
GTA Watercourses (TRCA open data)
GTA Flood Plain (TRCA open data)
GTA Waterbodies (TRCA open data)
2. Data Publishing:
After getting the data ready, map produced in ArcMap where data symbolized then published to web map In ArcGIS Online, which will be the core map for the operation dashboard.
3. Creating the Dashboard:
In order to generate an Esri operation dashboard you need to be a member of ArcGIS Online organization, then have a published Web Map or hosted Feature Layer as an input to the dashboard.
Creating the dashboard went through many steps as described below:
- Login to your ArcGIS Online organization using your username and password.
- From the main interface click the App Launcher button as below snapshot
or you could also click on your Web Map application under Content in ArcGIS Online then click on Create Web App dropdown list to choose Using Operations Dashboard
- Create Web App box will be opened to fill Title, Tag and Summary
- The map will be opened into the dashboard, where you will start to add the widgets you need to your application from the drop-down menu as below snapshot.
- Widgets will be added and configured as needed.
Toronto Flood Events Dashboard has included the most important widgets (Map, Header, Serial Chart, Pie Chart, Indicator, and List)
Once widget selected, the configuration box will be opened which is easy to be configured then will be dragged to be docked as needed
After adding multiple widgets, an important setting needs to be configured in the Map widget to set what is called an Action Framework, that happens when we change the map extent of the geographic area, then the other dashboard elements such as (Serial Chart, Pie Chart, Indicator, and List) will interactively be changed.
- From the Map Widget go to Configure button, then select Map Actions tab, hit Add Action drop-down list then filter to choose other dashboard elements from the configuration box. the option When Map Extent Changes appears to let you filter and make action to other elements as well. Indeed, this is the most powerful tool in the dashboard.
- Another configuration could be made in the Header element where you can insert a drop-down menu to map a certain feature by date, type, area or time, which is easily be configured in the dashboard web application.
- After configuring all required elements, hit save then you can share or publish your dashboard web application with other users out of your organization.
Geovisualization Project Limitations:
The project was encountered two main limitations:
The data limitation:
Data limitations were taken most of the time to be defined, then after defining the available open data, many data cleansing and manipulation has been taking in terms of changing spatial reference to fit with online maps or changing the data format, which are still limited with the variables used, the derived events point generated randomly from the polygon shapefile “flood-reporting-wgs84” for Toronto wards to show the number of events per Toronto ward, which are not available as points from the main source; even though, the points still not accurate in location, but it give an idea about the number of event per ward boundary in different years.
It is clearly represented when we use Esri operations dashboard, which is only available to the member of ArcGIS Online organization and whom how have that access, still be able to get the benefits out of it by hitting the published location.