Keywords

Model dashboard; web applications; Python; front end design; user experience; coupled models; code templating; graphical user interfaces

Location

Session F4: Interaction Design for Environmental Information Systems

Start Date

18-6-2014 2:00 PM

End Date

18-6-2014 3:20 PM

Abstract

Integrated decision support systems for regulatory applications benefit from standard industry practices such as code reuse, test-driven development, and modularization. These approaches make meeting the federal government's goals of transparency, efficiency, and quality assurance more attainable, while facilitating science module updates and incorporation of new modules. The Obertool is a web-based dashboard suite of ecological risk assessment models supported by the United States Environmental Protection Agency that provides a cross-platform implementation for users. Its web-based approach provides users with a common interface to models developed in differing formats ranging from simple spreadsheet calculators to platform-dependent compiled executables. The dashboard combines features of models into a unified, web-based experience by utilizing a template-based, modular design. The modular structure allows coupling of multiple models with minimal code and the use of native source code with Python wrappers and RESTful servers. Porting models with an existing user base and graphical user interfaces to a web- based application raises issues related to recreating a familiar user experience within the templated design. The Obertool compensates for this by using JavaScript, jQuery, and the Django web framework to enhance the basic Python modular structure of the dashboard. This added flexibility allows existing model users to easily adapt to the new web-based environment and allows developers to effectively implement key algorithmic components that make each model unique.

 
Jun 18th, 2:00 PM Jun 18th, 3:20 PM

Fronting Integrated Scientific Web Applications: Design Features and Benefits for Regulatory Environments

Session F4: Interaction Design for Environmental Information Systems

Integrated decision support systems for regulatory applications benefit from standard industry practices such as code reuse, test-driven development, and modularization. These approaches make meeting the federal government's goals of transparency, efficiency, and quality assurance more attainable, while facilitating science module updates and incorporation of new modules. The Obertool is a web-based dashboard suite of ecological risk assessment models supported by the United States Environmental Protection Agency that provides a cross-platform implementation for users. Its web-based approach provides users with a common interface to models developed in differing formats ranging from simple spreadsheet calculators to platform-dependent compiled executables. The dashboard combines features of models into a unified, web-based experience by utilizing a template-based, modular design. The modular structure allows coupling of multiple models with minimal code and the use of native source code with Python wrappers and RESTful servers. Porting models with an existing user base and graphical user interfaces to a web- based application raises issues related to recreating a familiar user experience within the templated design. The Obertool compensates for this by using JavaScript, jQuery, and the Django web framework to enhance the basic Python modular structure of the dashboard. This added flexibility allows existing model users to easily adapt to the new web-based environment and allows developers to effectively implement key algorithmic components that make each model unique.