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2016-03-10 Tools Workgroup

Date: March 10, 2016
Time: 9:30-10:30 AM MST
Call in: 1-800-768-2983 and access code 4918837

IWDW Tools Workgroup


Tools wiki Meeting minutes and agendas
Tools workgroup forum IWDW Forum topic on tool development

Current tools

The Data page on the IWDW website provides links to the tools:
  • Emissions Review
  • Source Apportionment (2008b)
  • Model-to-Observation Comparison
  • Model Performance Evaluation Plots
  • Summary Reports

Recent additions

Development tools

  • Emissions GIS
    • County level pollutant map: demo
    • Source category pie chart map overlays:demo
  • MPE metrics: link


  1. Review minutes from Jan. call
    1. 2016-01-28 Tools Workgroup
  2. Status of current tools
    1. IWDW Tools 2016-03-10.docx
  3. IWDW tool development
    1. Annotated MPE List - DRAFT_StatsGraphicalDisplays_List_MPE_Analyses_WAQS_v02242016.docx
    2. MPE metrics prototype tool
    3. Tool development prioritization
  4. Other items
    1. IWDW website updates: About page
    2. IWDW Procedures
  5. Next call



Gail T., Kevin B., Rebecca M., Ken R., Chris P., Zac A., Shawn M., Dustin S., Rodger A., Tom M.


The group reviewed minutes from the previous call. Since the last call, Rodger and Zac reviewed the "summary MPE checklist" that Rebecca distributed to the group and added annotations and links to IWDW products, if available. The revised list was presented to the Tools Group during today's call.

Rodger walked the group through the IWDW tool development document. Major revisions to IWDW tools were the addition of SA modeling results; in particular the recent additions listed in the Current Tools Section of the agenda, above. The IWDW Development team will add a selection interface that allows users to select and distinguish the various SA products.

Another addition to the IWDW was a prototype MPE metrics tool that displays aggregate statistics from model-to-obs comparisons. Shawn gave a demo of the tool, illustrating how values for various metrics can be sorted to show a range of model performance for spatial averages across state and modeling domain, and annual and monthly temporal averages . The tool currently displays data for 2011b CAMx and CMAQ MPE at 4 and 12km domains. Feedback on the tool included: addition of GIS driven selection/display interface (TM); addition of links to representative static graphics on the MPE plots tool (RA); comments that aggregate statistics are not particularly useful because they do not represent episodes or sites that may be of interest for NAAQS or may not reveal localized model performance issues (GT).

A discussion ensued on how EPA is moving away from relying on benchmarks for MPE, and is focusing on site and time specific representations of model performance, such as spatial plots overlaid with ambient data, and time series plots that can show particular episodes of interest.

TM made the suggestion that a top level menu of what the tools are and how they are useful to the MPE process would be a worthwhile addition to the IWDW website.

Discussion turned to how the current model-to-obs tool could fulfill site specific and episodic MPE requirements. Suggestions for enhancements were to add site specific scatter plots; add dynamically generated summary stats based on site/temporal selection; add "n" (number of model-to-obs paris) and plot name to output file (currently it has the generic name "model-to-obs comparison.xls). TM suggested possibly color coding the time series (or plot background) by season.

Regarding the current availability of spatial plots with ambient data overlays, Zac indicated that there are tile plots of monitoring data showing daily 1hr and 8hr max. The suggestion was made that it might be useful to build a simple UI to step through the static versions of these plots. Such a UI could also be used to view plots generated by IWDW users.

Another comment on the MPE checklist was to identify and distinguish items that influence the modeling processing chain and distinguish these from checklist items that should be prioritized for near-term IWDW tool development.

Rebecca noted that no comments were added to the last set of checklist items (pg. 7). Annotations have since been added to items 1&2 regarding deposition and the revised document is available from the link above. Graphical products for items 3&4 are not available on the IWDW.

Action Items

  • Group - Review MPE List with links to IWDW graphical products
  • Rebecca - send to Rodger notes/documents with content for IWDW website "About" page
  • Zac/Rodger - identify MPE tile plots with ambient data overlays
  • IWDW developers - add selection interface for SA visualization tools