In our article "ABIMO source code published!" we last reported that we will continue to develop ABIMO, the water balance model of the Berlin Environmental Atlas. ABIMO has so far been focused on the water balance of Berlin, but we want to make it transferable to other urban areas, such as the city of Cologne. We plan to expand ABIMO to include stormwater management measures, such as green roofs or infiltration basins, in calculations. We also want to make it fit for scenario calculations. ABIMO should be able to simulate many different scenarios of stormwater management, starting from the actual state. Our goal is to control ABIMO via a web interface and thus create an important tool for the optimisation of urban development measures.
We will make the adjustments directly to the ABIMO source code and make each individual change visible and traceable on our GitHub account.
What progress have we made so far? Before delving into the adaptation and expansion of ABIMO, we focused on solving some technical issues. The version of ABIMO released by the Berlin Senate Department for Urban Development had a simple graphical user interface. This only allowed the selection of an input file, a configuration file and a storage location for the output file. However, for scenario analysis and for integration into a web application, it is important that we can control ABIMO without this old user interface. Therefore, we have restructured the programme code in such a way that the essential calculation function can also be started without the user interface. In other words, we have exposed the core of the water balance calculation and decoupled it from the user interface.
In our new version ABIMO 3.3 (see QR code for link) the Microsoft Windows command line replaces the graphical user interface. The information that the model otherwise receives via the user interface (path to the input, configuration and output file) can now be passed to the programme as so-called command line parameters.
This change makes it easier to call ABIMO from other programs, such as the future web application we mentioned above. The new interface also allows us to use the ABIMO functionality within the programming language "R," which we have been using successfully at KWB for over a decade. But that is a story for another time, to be told at a later date.