COMPARISON AND EVALUATION OF DIFFERENT GIS SOFTWARE TOOLS TO ESTIMATE SOLAR IRRADIATION
Keywords: Solar irradiation analysis, GRASS GIS, ArcGIS, SimStadt, CitySim, Ladybug, CityGML
Abstract. In this paper, five commonly used software tools to estimate solar radiation in the urban context (GRASS GIS, ArcGIS, SimStadt, CitySim and Ladybug) are run on the same test site and are compared in terms of input data requirements, usability, and accuracy of the results. Spatial and weather data have been collected for an area located in the Brazilian city of São Paulo, in the district of Santana. The test area surrounds a weather station, for which meteorological data of the last 15 years have been collected and used as ground truth when analysing and comparing the simulation results. In terms of spatial data, raster- and vector-based models of the study area have been generated in order to comply with the different input requirements. More specifically, in the case of the vector-based tools (SimStadt, CitySim and Ladybug), a common 3D model based on CityGML and containing buildings, vegetation (trees) and terrain has been generated and used as a common urban model. The paper presents the findings and discusses the results not only from a numerical point of view, but also from the perspective of the overall usability of the software in terms of data requirements, simulation time and task automatisation.