Google-Earth Based Visualizations for Environmental Flows and Pollutant Dispersion in Urban Areas

Daoming Liu, Sasa Kenjeres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
59 Downloads (Pure)


In the present study, we address the development and application of an efficient tool for conversion of results obtained by an integrated computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and computational reaction dynamics (CRD) approach and their visualization in the Google Earth. We focus on results typical for environmental fluid mechanics studies at a city scale that include characteristic wind flow patterns and dispersion of reactive scalars. This is achieved by developing a code based on the Java language, which converts the typical four-dimensional structure (spatial and temporal dependency) of data results in the Keyhole Markup Language (KML) format. The visualization techniques most often used are revisited and implemented into the conversion tool. The potential of the tool is demonstrated in a case study of smog formation due to an intense traffic emission in Rotterdam (The Netherlands). It is shown that the Google Earth can provide a computationally efficient and user-friendly means of data representation. This feature can be very useful for visualization of pollution at street levels, which is of great importance for the city residents. Various meteorological and traffic emissions can be easily visualized and analyzed, providing a powerful, user-friendly tool for traffic regulations and urban climate adaptations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number247
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • computational fluid dynamics
  • visualization
  • Google Earth
  • environmental pollution
  • KML


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