Visualization of data from WRF, Sankey Diagram and Transport


We aim to produce a high quality and interactive visualization of the research findings of the team, such as the UHI and transportation heat emission. Cooling Singapore, in collaboration with the Collaborative Interactive Visualisation and Analysis Laboratory (CIVAL) from FCL, represented the datasets in Singapore Views (a 3D visualization tool developed by CIVAL via Unity3D). The platform is capable of visualizing 3D models, 3D spatial bar charts, spatial terrain, point cloud, text, images and videos. The data are plotted in run-time and users can zoom in and out, change camera angles, or retrieve the value of a particular location with a simple click.


Some findings through our iterative design and development are:

  • From the information visualization perspective, overlaying and animating the the datasets from various research groups allows cross-domain expertise to analyse the correlation between the different factors contributing to heat generation.
  • From the technical perspective, the performance of spatial data visualization highly depends on the scale of the data. We applied CPU computation for smaller datasets with high numbers of interaction elements and GPU instancing for larger datasets with less available interactions.  


The mean UHI metric and exceedance UHI metric are visualized as both heat cubes and heat terrain with animation by CPU computation. The transportation heat emission is presented as heat cylinders by GPU instancing. We also created multi-layer representation for the different UHI simulation scenarios to allow the user to analyse the impact of the scenario on UHI.

In addition, we produced an interactive 3D Sankey diagram in Unity3D which aims to help the user intuitively see the relationship between the energy elements and its corresponding source and destination. We also plan to introduce the spatial distribution of the energy elements in future development.

Links to other tasks

This task is a pivot point which links all the output of the tasks together via an interactive visual representation. It serves as storytelling tool for the Cooling Singapore project.  


The visualization that we have developed has brought the research findings of the team to a broader audience which raises the awareness of UHI related research. Further development of the interactions on GPU would be the next step for such a tool, which would be ideal for the large scale datasets provided by the team.  



An augmented reality (AR) application is planned to be developed to educate Singapore’s residents about mitigation strategies (MS), crowdsource the existing MS, and encourage citizens’ design with respect to the MS. Each 2D visual for the mitigation strategies will serve as an identifier for retrieving the 3D models for the particular strategy. In the education mode, the application will retrieve the meteorological/urban design terms of this page and provide an explanation. In the crowdsourcing mode, it encourages residents to find the implemented MS in Singapore by showing one strategy per day and asks them to take a photo of the place for our verification purpose. In the citizen’s design mode, the application will work with Singapore Views (developed by CIVAL) to position the MS model in the 3D map.

Links to other tasks

This is a sub-product of our mitigation strategies report. It present the information in a more interactive and engaging way.

Fig 1. Concept of a augmented reality (AR) application for the mitigation strategies to cool Singapore and improve the outdoor thermal comfort Source: Sailin Zhong

Fig 1. Concept of a augmented reality (AR) application for the mitigation strategies to cool Singapore and improve the outdoor thermal comfort Source: Sailin Zhong