Dashboard for new costing model backbone made by Fleming College GIS graduates

Fleming College GIS - Collaborative Project

July 2, 2021

We've completed a collaborative project with a team from Fleming College!

CRIBE partnered with Fleming College’s Geographic Information Systems post-graduate program to advance their current Economic Fibre Supply Model and develop a promotional poster. Through a Collaborative project CRIBE worked with two Fleming College GIS Applications Specialists students, Carina Leale and Ian Wright.

We are currently using GIS tools on our online Forest Edge environment to provide information about forest resources in an accessible and interactive format. The "Economic Fibre Supply Model" is a core tool in this environment; it is intended to be used by prospective investors to gain information about Ontario’s wood resources. The costing analysis which is the backbone of this tool is currently based on "as the crow flies" distance and powered by forest management plan blocks centered on the middle of the block. CRIBE requested this aspect of the cost analysis be updated so that it is more accurate to the reality of road accessibility to the harvest block areas.

This project was an excellent exercise for the Fleming students to deal with real world geospatially solvable problem where in they would look at existing data and create new understandings for public use.

Objectives

  • Develop a more accurate model to calculate haul cost estimates for stakeholders seeking information on Ontario’s forest resources by updating the current costing methodology for the Wood Atlas tool to account for accessibility to harvest blocks through a connected network of main roads and forest harvest roads.
  • Support potential investors in accessing information on Ontario’s forest resources through the design of an interactive and queryable web tool.
  • Assist CRIBE with the promotion of their innovative investment strategies through the production of a cartographically attractive large-format static output map that can be displayed at networking events

Methodology

Data Acquisition & Pre-Processing

  • Built a new file geodatabase.
  • Clipped and projected data.
  • Combined road network data layers.
  • Created and validated topological rules.
  • Corrected topological errors.

Programming & Automation

  • Developed workflow models.
  • Created custom script tools.
  • Configured a web application.

Spatial Analysis

  • Used the ArcGIS Pro Network Analyst extension.
  • Created a road network dataset.
  • Generated closest facility routes.
  • Integrated route distance into the haul cost model.

Visualization

  • Configured an interactive ArcGIS Online Dashboard.
  • Created a large-format static poster.

The Solution

Custom Script Tools

Two python scripts and accompanying ArcGIS Pro custom script tools were developed to combine the road datasets based on a modelled workflow and validate the topology. The custom script tools make merging the road network data layers, and creating and validating the topology, a much simpler process as the user does not need to directly handle the geoprocessing tools in the model workflow, and instead they only need to set the script tool input parameters.

The example to the right depicts one of the designed custom script tools which receives a workspace, inputs, and output locations from the user through the ArcGIS Pro graphic interface. The python script runs the required geoprocessing workflow, and produces the desired outputs.

Interactive Dashboard

The Forestry Haul Routes dashboard was developed to provide the shortest route from two user selected locations (i.e., a harvest block and forest production facility) and display the calculated haul costs associated with transporting the wood along the selected route. The dashboard has a dynamic interactive map that enables the user to select a harvest block on the map, and then select a facility from either the map or from the Production Facilities list. Once selected, the shortest route between the two locations is displayed. The haul cost and total distance associated with the route is automatically generated within the Transportation Cost gauge element and the Transportation Distance indicator element to the left of the map.

Promotional Poster

The completed poster highlights CRIBE’s contribution to the Ontario forestry sector’s economic growth and prosperity since 2009. The poster also includes CRIBE’s vision and mission statements, funding contributions and areas of impact. The map component displays the number of projects completed across Ontario and their respective locations, demonstrating the company's reach within Ontario.

Fleming Final Poster for CRIBE

The custom script tool and dashboards were created to provide CRIBE with a proof of concept for an updated version of their haul costing model and to lay the foundation for future expansion of the project to all of Ontario. The workflow documentation aids in facilitating the future development of the project and assists CRIBE with replicating the process to complete the expansion successfully. The workflow documents include written step by step instructions, as well as screen shots displaying the various tools, parameter settings and expected outputs. A workflow document was created for each of the main phases of the project.

Thank you so much to Carina & Ian for your hard work this semester! We are very excited to configure this very applicable technology to our tools going forward on a Provincial Scale.