UNC Spatial Allocator Version 4.1 (10/25/2013)

The Spatial Allocator (SA) is a set of tools that helps users manipulate and generate data files related to emissions and air quality modeling. The tools perform functions similar to Geographic Information Systems, but are provided to the modeling community free of charge. In addition, the tools are designed to support some of the unique aspects of the file formats used for Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ), Sparse Matrix Operator Kernel Emissions (SMOKE), and Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) modeling.

The MIMS Spatial Allocator is licensed as open-source software and provided at no cost because its development was sponsored by EPA. The Spatial Allocator uses GIS industry standard ESRI shapefiles, image files supported by GDAL, netCDF files and plain text data files as input and output data. The SA system includes three components developed for specific applications:

  1. Vector Tools (html): The Vector Tools allow you to develop individual spatial surrogates, to change the map projection of Shapefiles, to remap spatial data from one spatial domain to another (e.g. counties to grids, fine grids to coarse grids), and to perform other types of spatial manipulation without using a GIS. Written in C language and developed for 32-bit Linux systems. Provides binaries are built on a 32-bit Linux operating system.
  2. Raster Tools (html): The Raster Tools allow you to process land use data, satellite data, and agricultural fertilizer application data for meteorological and air quality modeling, particularly within the WRF/CMAQ modeling systems. Written in C++ language and developed for Linux systems. Provides binaries are built on a 64-bit Linux operating system.
  3. Surrogate Tools (html): The Surrogate Tools allow you to manage the creation of large sets of spatial surrogates and also supports merging and gapfilling of surrogates. Surrogate Tools are written in Java they are provided in a java archive (.jar file) that can be used on Linux systems for which Java 1.5/later and Vector Tools are installed.

Open source packages used:

Instructions for downloading and installing.

Release Notes: SA 4.1 contains a new BELD4 tool in the Raster Tools component. The Java-based merging and gapfilling tools were improved to work for polygon output modeling (such as census tracts). There is no change in the Vector Tools componenet in this release.

The installation directory is set by the environment variable SA_HOME in the $SA_HOME/bin/sa_setup.csh file. This setup file also contains all open-source library paths. Users need to include the following line in their .cshrc files:

source {SA_HOME directory}/bin/sa_setup.csh

The SA system contains the following folders: