OTIE’s On-line Decision Support Tool Featured at the Smithsonian Museum

As a project under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Exposure Research Laboratory Regional Vulnerability Assessment (ReVA) contract, OTIE developed an innovative cutting edge on-line decision support tool that was featured in an EPA exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum in April 2012.

The decision support tool termed “Lyme Disease Interactive Viewer” (LDIV) is an online map viewing application that allows users to evaluate population level risks for Lyme disease in parts of Maryland and Pennsylvania. Users explore a suite of statistical models which are based on simple landscape level characteristics (such as percent forest) and where population risks increase/decrease as the user alters the statistical model. The tool allows the user to explore how two alternative future scenarios which reflect different development policies alter population level Lyme disease risk. On-line Decision Support ToolThe user can adjust the probability level and the disease frequency threshold and get feedback immediately as well as investigate What Ifs by changing landscape characteristics (such as percent forest) in an individual polygon that might alter population level Lyme disease risks.

LDIV is an exploratory statistical decision analysis tool which uses ESRI’s ArcGIS Server to host the mapping data and ESRI’s Javascript Application Programming Interface as the language for the web application. LDIV was developed by OTIE employee Dr. Donald Catanzaro who has over 15 years’ experience working as an ecologist, GIS expert, and statistician for various private and public organizations. OTIE employees Mike Lively, and Jeremy Albright provided programming expertise and support.