Dave Whiting has retired effective January, 2015. This website now provides information on solar radiation mapping and makes available some of the products that Dave and his colleagues prepared.
Dave Whiting and Associates had the expertise and experience to prepare digital maps showing the potential solar energy that hits the landscape for various time periods. Explore these pages for information on our team, our products and related information. Contact us using the online form or phone 250-372-7088.
Why Map Solar Radiation?
An understanding of the amount of solar radiation (insolation) at various geographic locations at different times throughout the year is of value to practitioners in such diverse fields as agriculture, mine reclamation, ski hill development, solar energy utilization, forestry, environmental assessment, and ecological research. For most geographical areas, however, insolation data are not available. Simple interpolation and extrapolation of point-specific measurements are typically not feasible because insolation can vary significantly within short distances due to topographic changes.
Using a spatial solar radiation model in a geographic information system (GIS), Dave Whiting and Associates can provide a cost-efficient means for understanding the spatial and temporal variation of solar radiation at landscape scales (1:50,000) and larger. The resulting maps, showing calculated solar radiation in killowatt hours per square meter, can be displayed and related to other digital map layers. See the Lillooet-Lytton Maps on this site for an example of our solar radiation map products at a landscape scale. Dave Whiting and Associates has also produced solar radiation maps at 1:10,000 scale to support reclamation planning of a proposed mine development.
At a global scale, the latitudinal gradients of insolation, caused by the geometry of Earth's rotation and revolution about the sun, are well known. At the landscape scale and larger, topography is the major factor modifying the distribution of insolation. Variability in elevation, surface orientation (slope and aspect), and shadows cast by topographic features create strong local gradients of insolation. This leads to high spatial and temporal variation in air and soil temperature regimes, evapotranspiration, snow melt patterns, soil moisture, and light available for photosynthesis.
Mine reclamation at Highland Valley Copper