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Open AccessArticle

Sky View Factor Calculation in Urban Context: Computational Performance and Accuracy Analysis of Two Open and Free GIS Tools

by Jérémy Bernard 1,†, Erwan Bocher 1,*,†, Gwendall Petit 2,† and Sylvain Palominos 2,†
1
CNRS, UMR 6285 Vannes, France
2
Université de Bretagne Sud, UMR 6285 Vannes, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Climate 2018, 6(3), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli6030060
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 24 June 2018 / Accepted: 2 July 2018 / Published: 4 July 2018
The sky view factor (SVF) has an important role in the analysis of the urban micro-climate. A new vector-based SVF calculation tool was implemented in a free and open source Geographic Information System named OrbisGIS. Its accuracy and computational performance are compared to the ones of an existing raster based algorithm used in SAGA-GIS. The study is performed on 72 urban blocks selected within the Paris commune territory. This sample has been chosen to represent the heterogeneity of nine of the ten Local Climate Zone built types. The effect of the algorithms’ input parameters (ray length, number of directions and grid resolution) is investigated. The combination minimizing the computation time and the SVF error is identified for SAGA-GIS and OrbisGIS algorithms. In both cases, the standard deviation of the block mean SVF estimate is about 0.03. A simple linear relationship having a high determination coefficient is also established between block mean SVF and the facade density fraction, confirming the results of previous research. This formula and the optimized combinations for the OrbisGIS and the SAGA-GIS algorithms are finally used to calculate the SVF of every urban block of the Paris commune. View Full-Text
Keywords: local climate zone; urban climate; sky view factor; morphological indicator; open science; GIS local climate zone; urban climate; sky view factor; morphological indicator; open science; GIS
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Bernard, J.; Bocher, E.; Petit, G.; Palominos, S. Sky View Factor Calculation in Urban Context: Computational Performance and Accuracy Analysis of Two Open and Free GIS Tools. Climate 2018, 6, 60.

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