Comparing Weather APIs

Introduction

The SARBayes project uses the International Search & Rescue Incident Database (ISRID) [1] to study and forecast lost person behavior. To augment the predictive power of the project's models, we can supplement sparsely populated fields in ISRID with other sources of data. For instance, given an incident's date and location, we can pull data from online application programming interfaces (APIs) to fill in missing values for weather conditions such as temperature and precipitation.

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Fitting Incident Time to a Distribution

Incident times follow a von Mises distribution centered near 5:30pm.

Introduction

One goal of the SARBayes project is to forecast the probability of survival for lost persons. Such models could be useful in deciding to continue searching, and researchers making motion models can use survival predictions when generating probability maps of the lost person's location. We are analyzing data from the International Search & Rescue Incident Database (ISRID) to describe the probability of survival as a function of various features, such as age or temperature.

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"Evaluating LPB Models" Published

The "Evaluating Lost Person Behavior" paper is now officially available in the online edition of Transactions in GIS.

The "Evaluating Lost Person Behavior" paper is now officially available in the online edition of Transactions in GIS.

Sava, E., Twardy, C., Koester, R., & Sonwalkar, M. (2016). Evaluating Lost Person Behavior Models. Transactions in GIS, 20(1), 38–53. http://doi.org/10.1111/tgis.12143

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Forthcoming MapScore Paper!

The MapScore project described here provides a way to evaluate probability maps using actual historical searches. On a metric where random maps score 0 and perfect maps score 1, the ISRID Distance Ring model scored 0.78 (95%CI: 0.74-0.82, on 376 cases). The Combined model was slightly better at .81 (95%CI: 0.77-0.84).

Our MapScore paper is now in press at Transactions in GIS! From the abstract:

The MapScore project described here provides a way to evaluate probability maps using actual historical searches.  In this work we generated probability maps based on the statistical Euclidean distance tables from ISRID data (Koester, 2008), and compared them to Doke’s (2012) watershed model. Watershed boundaries follow high terrain and may better reflect actual barriers to travel. We also created a third model using the joint distribution using Euclidean and watershed features. On a metric where random maps score 0 and perfect maps score 1, the ISRID Distance Ring model scored 0.78 (95%CI: 0.74-0.82, on 376 cases). The simple Watershed model by itself was clearly inferior at 0.61, but the Combined model was slightly better at .81 (95%CI: 0.77-0.84).

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The Lognormal Distance Model

Eric Cawi

A logical extension of the Distance Rings model is to fit a smooth function to the distribution of data found in ISRID. Examining the Euclidean Distance data for different categories, it was found that a lognormal curve roughly captured the shape of the data. The Log-Normal (LN) is a two parameter distribution which assumes that the logarithm of your data follows a normal distribution. The probability density function of the LN curve is given by, where are the mean and standard deviation of the logarithm of distance.

Child 4-6 lognormal plot

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MapScore Updates Summer 2014

Thanks very much to summer intern Jonathan Lee (@jonathanlee1) for many MapScore fixes.  Jonathan is a keen Python programmer with extra geek points for running Linux on his Macbook Air and having an ASCII-art avatar.  He learned his way around Django in no time and brought us a slew of features and code refactoring including: Continue reading "MapScore Updates Summer 2014"

MapScore Updates

MapScore has been updated to include Batch Upload, and fix or improve a number of other features.

The MapScore site has been updated! The most exciting new feature is Batch Upload.

  • Batch Upload!  In one fell swoop, upload and re-score all your models and cases (or as many as necessary).  No more clicking around or messing with “active” vs “inactive” cases.  (Unless you want to...)
MapScore batch upload screen. New Nov. 2013.
MapScore batch upload screen. New Nov. 2013.

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MapScore: A Portal for Scoring Probability Maps

The SARBayes MapScore server has been running for a month now at http://mapscore.sarbayes.org.  It's a portal for scoring probability maps, so researchers like us can measure how well we are doing, and see which approaches work best for which situations.  Take a look.  (And if you have a model, register and start testing it!)

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Bayesian Motion Models of LPB

Lin & Goodrich at Brigham Young are working on Bayesian motion models for generating probability maps. They have an interesting model, but need GPS tracks to train it. It's a nice complement to our approach, and it will be interesting to see how they compare.

~Originally a very cool review published in the first half of 2010. The review led to phone calls and a very productive collaboration on MapScore and other work.

Partly reconstructed March 2012.

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Syrotuck's Data

Syrotuck's main study is his 1976, with N=242. But he gives much more detail about distance travelled in his 1975 paper, breaking distance down every 0.2 miles. Unfortunately, he only reports probabilities, not numbers, and doesn't even report total N. We know he got more data between 1975 and 1976, but didn't know how much. Is the 1975 breakdown representative of the 1976 data? Unfortunately, no one has Syrotuck's original data. But we re-created it. (Spreadsheets available!)

 

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