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“HeatVIS” originated from the dangerous rise in temperature in highly populated cities leading to “urban heat islands”. Vulnerable communities such as homeless people, outside workers, and those with pre-existing health conditions in urban cities are disproportionately affected by the urban heat island effect due to institutional barriers. In addition, people in low-income communities across many cities do not have access to cool their homes. The lack of green space in cities’ infrastructure leads to no escape from the unbearable heat waves. The urban heat island effect is creating a health crisis that poses a serious threat to public health, especially in under-resourced neighborhoods. Our goal is to bring awareness to the climate and health crisis unfolding in cities worldwide while identifying the “hot spots” that need help to make climate-resilient cities.

What it does

HeatVIS is an easy-to-use web application that visualizes cities, heat data, demographic data on age and poverty line, cooling centers, and parks to bring awareness on the disparity of resources in highly populated areas. Being able to visualize the layered data can be used by educational groups to bring attention to urban heat island effects. Our application will also be used by non-profit organizations and mutual aids already working to combat the climate crisis and help under-resourced communities. HeatVIS can connect under-resourced communities to find the closest cooling center to cool down and stay safe during extremely hot weather. Our interactive application can be visualized and used on phones, computers, and outdoor kiosks.

How we built it

We used ArcGIS API for JavaScript, HTML, and CSS to build our web application. We pulled landsat data from USGS EROS, ArcGIS Hub and analyzed it in ArcGIS Pro

Used NASA ARD Landsat 8 imagery to demonstrate heat patterns

Created a 3D layer from 2D Building footprint data and visualized the heat values on that using Summarize Within, Overlay Spatial Join and Layer 3D to Feature Class

Implemented a multidisciplinary spatial analysis in a web application using pop-ups and interactive tools

Challenges we ran into

We had never used the ArcGIS Api for JavaScript before, so learning and researching all of the tools was probably our biggest challenge because there are so many different ways to do everything. We also chose to render 3D data and there aren’t a lot of sample projects using 3D, so this was a challenge to figure out too.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Building a platform that advocates for under-represented communities while bringing awareness to the dangerous consequences of climate change.

Completing this integrative and interactive application as an all woman-identifying team and as one of the only 4 person teams

Figuring out how to render 3D data using Web Scenes and Scene View when there aren’t many sample projects available to help us

What we learned

Nothing will go as planned

This work needs to be intentional and takes a lot of attention to detail

Hackathons can be a good opportunity to create vehicles of change


What's next for HeatVIS

Integrate all cities onto our platform

Highlight areas for infrastructure improvement

Layer areas that can use more trees, green roofs and vegetations

Build outdoor kiosks

Use this application to better advance 3D technology documentation

Incorporate Network Analyst to put folks into contact with cooling centers themselves and mutual aid efforts

Collaborate with nonprofits

Work with city planners and government officials

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