Publication Date

2016

Committee Chair

Mark P. Kumler, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Ruijin Ma, Ph.D.

Abstract

California, with its abundant natural resources, has a long history of support for renewable energy. These efforts, however, have raised concerns in some Mojave Desert rural communities that fear such development initiatives would result in alteration of the landscape and would significantly impact their lifestyle. This study was carried out to provide rural residents with mapping visualizations that would help alleviate their concerns.

This project built a prototype tool, provided a web mapping application, and provided a three dimensional simulation. The prototype tool was developed with Esri ArcGIS software to allow the end user to adjust the relative importance of raster datasets in a suitability analysis of Utility Photovoltaic Stations. Map products derived from the tool were uploaded to ArcGIS Online to be used in a comparative analysis by means of a web mapping application. In addition, a three dimensional rendering of a utility photovoltaic station was generated to visualize how a target area may look if it were to be developed. This solution will provide rural community stakeholders with effective visualizations to determine how such efforts will affect the Mojave Desert landscape.

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