Modeling and visualizing urban sprawl and carbon footprints in Phoenix metropolitan area

Authors Sebastian Petsch, Subhrajit Guhathakurta, Hans Hagen

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Sebastian Petsch
Subhrajit Guhathakurta
Hans Hagen

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Sebastian Petsch, Subhrajit Guhathakurta, and Hans Hagen. Modeling and visualizing urban sprawl and carbon footprints in Phoenix metropolitan area. In Visualization of Large and Unstructured Data Sets - Applications in Geospatial Planning, Modeling and Engineering (IRTG 1131 Workshop). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 19, pp. 64-72, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2011)


Urban planners are dealing with problems of urban sprawl and CO2 emissions. The multidimensional character of these phenomena requires new analysis and visualization tools that are unavailable in platforms like the Geographical Information Systems (GIS). This paper, first, presents an approach for measuring and monitoring urban sprawl and carbon footprints. Second, it offers a three-dimensional visualization method that takes into account the multi-dimensional nature of the data. The visualization of the data is based on an intuitive approach involving B-Splines and Bezier techniques to create three-dimensional surfaces. Finally the paper introduces an analysis tool for planners and decision makers to examine household carbon footprints in relation to their direct spatial neighborhood based on unstructured census data.
  • Urban Sprawl
  • GHG Emissions
  • Visualization
  • Case Studies


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