ComFlo was developed by the participants of the NIMBioS 2015 SRE Invasive Species group as part of an effort to project the movement of invasive species via domestic shipping pathways in the United States. We were motivated to construct this web tool due to the lack of comprehensive and user-friendly visualization tool on the FAF data. The web tool provides a simple web-based interface for visualization of the large-scale freight shipping network. Features include the ability to quickly view domestic commodity flows between selected states and significantly, the ability to specify by which commodity and mode of transport. The user can also choose to view the same data in table format.
This service was designed with the researcher and curious individual in mind. The user has the ability to identify high volume shipping pathways by clicking on pathways to view the weight of shipments moved along it. The table view provides the user with access to the source data of their current selection in an easily readable format, and a download link for the CSV if he or she wishes to further analyze the data. While this is a freely available resource, we ask that any graphics taken from the website and used elsewhere are attributed to the developers Ashish Gauli, Nathan Wikle, Ryan Yan, and NIMBioS.
Data Source :
The commodity flow data were obtained from Freight Analysis Framework, website developed and maintained by the Office of Freight Management and Operations, a part of the Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Operations. The FAF is a comprehensive source for domestic freight movement, incorporating a variety of data sources into a complex flow network representing 123 regions of the United States. Four years were selected for our purposes: 1997, 2002, 2007, and 2012, each containing flow data encompassing 43 commodity classes and seven modes of transportation. For more information on FAF methodology, or to access the source data, please visit their website as listed above. This data is provide courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy.
Graph Representation :
Incoming flows into a state are represented by blue lines whereas outgoing flow are represented by red lines. The width of a line connecting two states represents the volume of flow between the two states, relative to the total flow of the selected commodity in the United States. The size of the circular nodes represents the relative flow of the commodity within a state.
The application runs under a Shiny Server developed by RStudio.
SRE Participants: Ashish Gauli, Nathan Wikle, Ryan Yan
Mentors: Daniel Simberloff, Louis Gross
Graduate Assistants: Cedric Landerer, Angela Chuang
This work was sponsored by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
If you have any suggestions or queries regarding the application, please forward them to the ComFlo Development Team.