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Archive for the ‘hurricanes’ Category

DigitalGlobe Spotlights Human Rights Violations with Satellite Imagery and Geoint

Friday, September 28th, 2018

In July 2018, a deeply disturbing and violent video began to circulate on social media. Taking place in Cameroon, it depicts two women and two young children being led at gunpoint away from a village by a group of Cameroonian soldiers. Blindfolded, the victims are forced to the ground and shot 22 times by the soldiers.

Investigation by Aliaume Leroy and Ben Strick

Produced by Daniel Adamson and Aliaume Leroy

Motion Graphics: Tom Flannery

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New Resource Center Hazard HQ from CoreLogic Offers Public Access to Analysis and Data Insights

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

CoreLogic®, a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, recently announced the launch of its new publicly-accessible risk information resource center, Hazard HQ(tm). This new information hub will offer individuals, media and companies high-level analyses and up-to-date data insights on the immediate risks natural catastrophes pose to properties across the country.

The latest risk summary for Hazard HQ focuses on the ongoing California wildfires. As comprehensive risk assessment needs increase alongside growing economic losses from natural catastrophes, Hazard HQ offers a high-level risk perspective for individuals and companies who wish to understand how hazards like earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, severe convective storms, wildfires, wind and volcanic activity can impact their regions.

Senior leader of content and strategy for CoreLogic, Maiclaire Bolton Smith, spoke with GISCafe Voice about the new resource center and how it is dedicated to offering catastrophe insights about events while they are happening.

Does Hazard HQ take in citizen information?

No, it focuses on information from CoreLogic. Corelogic can provide insight and information, whether wildfire, hurricane, earthquake or flooding, and offers insights on number of properties that could be at risk, or on an area that could be impacted and the home value that could be lost. No information is pulled from citizens. It’s our opportunity to share information with others to help them protect themselves and be able to restore from financial catastrophe.

It really evolved as a way for us to share information easily.

We’ve had all these devastating wildfires this summer already. We always try to learn from the events that have happened. We’ll always be providing more information on research. For example, with regard to the wildfire that happened in Sonoma County, California last year that impacted Santa Rosa, over the past six months we’ve done a lot of research looking at the reconstruction from that wildfire and the state of the homes being rebuilt and looking at some of the insurance impacts and implications from that event happening. An event doesn’t end when an event ends, it’s a long process afterwards to really recover from it, so we will continue to share more information on an ongoing basis as we continue to research events.

How do you expect risk analysis you’ve done last year is going to impact or help in the assessment of the damage of the Mendocino fire, as an example, right now?

The biggest factor is that it brings awareness to the impact that these devastating events do have. We hear about the hundreds of thousands of acres burned, but a lot of times the fires are burning in remote areas and there are not a lot of properties at risk. It’s devastating to see the area burned, but what we want to focus on is bringing awareness to insurers and other people about where there are homes and properties at risk, and focus on the human aspects of it. What people can take away from our previous research, is

  1. Being prepared for hazards that could happen, whether it be a flood, earthquake, hurricane, etc. We’re prone to disasters all the time in various parts of the country.
  2. Awareness of the events that can happen, and our main goal is to work with insurance companies and help them understand what properties are valued at to be able to insure properties properly.
  3. The general public needs to know they need insurance for a lot of these hazards. Insurance can really help them recover from events when they do happen. Hopefully they won’t be impacted but if they are, to know their risk and to be able to accelerate their recovery is a huge bonus.

Say a customer is obtaining insurance for things they expect but what about these events that happen way beyond anyone’s expectations?

Unfortunately, those rare events are the wild card that are really beyond planning scenarios. I’m actually a seismologist by training and I spend a lot of time training people to know their earthquake risk. I always say the number one thing people can do to prepare for an earthquake, is believe that it can happen, and that’s the same with all disasters. The possibility is there that it may occur. These are hard for people to conceptualize and plan for.

At CoreLogic we do risk modeling where we look at the range of events that can happen – the more common events to the very extreme events. That’s the information we provide to insurance companies, including what could the worst-case scenario even look like.

I have spoken to CoreLogic many times. In the past the company has said with the fires we’re expecting an increase in losses to homes because people have built closer to forests, and forests are not cleared as often, we run the higher risk.
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Flying 2018 World Cup Stadiums

Friday, July 6th, 2018

Robby Deming, Media Strategy Manager for Esri, created a Story Map of the stadiums played in during the 2018 World Cup. Also, DigitalGlobe, who provided the high-resolution satellite imagery for the story map, offered valuable background on the collection of the imagery and how it would serve other industries besides the World Cup itself.

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Boundless Ventures Offline with the Offline Tile Server

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

Anthony Calamito, chief geospatial officer at Boundless talked about the Boundless Offline Tile Server that delivers rapid access to basemaps around the world, drilling down to the street and building level, to professionals who can’t rely on internet connectivity out in the field.

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2018 CoreLogic Storm Surge Report Predicts Risk for Coastal Areas

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

The 2018 CoreLogic Storm Surge Report was released Thursday by CoreLogic, a global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider.

“While industry predictions for this year’s storm season indicate average activity levels, associated storm surge risk remains an important consideration for residential and commercial properties in the 19 states analyzed,” said Dr. Tom Jeffery, senior hazard scientist at CoreLogic. “Depending on the location of a storm’s landfall and that area’s population density and reconstruction costs, lower Category storms can cause just as much damage as storms in higher categories.”

As the U.S. enters hurricane season, the report shows that more than 6.9 million homes along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts are at potential risk of damage from hurricane storm surge surge with a total reconstruction cost value (RCV) of more than $1.6 trillion (Table 1).

Already according to predictions of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the 2018 hurricane season is expected to have near- to above-normal activity. NOAA predicts a 70 percent chance of 10 to 16 named storms. While not all of them will develop into hurricanes, NOAA predicts five to nine of these will develop into hurricanes, and one to four are predicted to reach Category 3 classification or higher.

According to the report, risk from hurricane-driven storm surge for homes along the Atlantic and Gulf coastlines across 19 states, as well as for 86 metro areas is analyzed in the risk CoreLogic analysis. Homes are categorized by five risk levels: Low (homes affected only by a Category 5 storm), Moderate (homes affected by Category 4 and 5 storms), High (homes affected by Category 3, 4 and 5 storms), Very High (homes affected by Category 2, 3, 4 and 5 storms) and Extreme (homes affected by Category 1-5 storms). RCV figures represent the cost to completely rebuild a property in case of damage – including labor and materials by geographic location – assuming the worst-case scenario at 100-percent destruction.

Regionally, the Atlantic Coast has more than 3.9 million homes at risk of storm surge with an RCV of more than $1 trillion (Table 2), an increase of around $30 billion compared to 2017. The Gulf Coast has more than 3 million homes at risk with over $609 billion in potential exposure to total destruction damage, with over $16 billion increase compared to 2017. Areas with less coastal exposure but with lower elevations that extend inland tend to have more total homes at risk because the surge water can travel farther inland. Additionally, due to market conditions and previous storm surge damage, construction costs can increase despite having a lower number of at-risk homes compared to other states or Core-Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs).
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Special GISCafe Coverage: Geospatial Data Providers and Services

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

Data providers abound in the GIS and geospatial industry. Choices range from mapping, built and natural terrain modeling, survey, GIS/LIS technologies, geospatial web, and asset inventory, mapping, geodetic and engineering surveying, photogrammetry, satellite imagery and real-time satellite data, remote sensing, aerial and ground-based LiDAR surveys, geographic and land information systems (GIS/LIS), 3D scanning, and spatial computing and analysis and much more.

Hamburg Port Rathaus, European Space Imaging

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Calling All Geospatial Data Providers for Upcoming GISCafe Special Coverage

Friday, May 4th, 2018

Data providers abound in the GIS and geospatial industry. Choices range from mapping, built and natural terrain modeling, survey, GIS/LIS technologies, geospatial web, asset inventory, mapping, geodetic and engineering surveying, photogrammetry, satellite imagery and real-time satellite data, remote sensing, aerial and ground-based LiDAR surveys, geographic and land information systems (GIS/LIS), and spatial computing and analysis, data provided by drones, and much more.

McMurdo Station Iceberg, Antarctica, NASA, taken from a small sat.

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Pix4D for Yuneec’s Ground Station Controller and Pix4Dfields

Friday, April 6th, 2018

Yuneec announced the availability of Pix4Dcapture on its H520 ST16S ground station controller. Pix4D is a premier software application that creates professional, georeferenced maps and models from drone imagery, giving users the ability to map flight plans and set customized mapping parameters.

Yuneec H520 ST 16S ground station controller

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GISCafe Trends and Predictions for 2018

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

Happy New Year!

As mentioned in our year-end wrap-up, a great number of events that shaped technology in 2017 were natural disasters. Scientists and experts predict that we will see more of these natural events and will continue R&D efforts to prepare for them.

Smart city technology will become more important as geospatial professionals seek to find better ways to predict, analyze and prepare communities for the onslaught of weather events. Actual Smart Cities are being built in some parts of the world. And to make those smart cities and countries, in some cases, viable, we will grow greater confidence in artificial intelligence, vehicle technology, Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), drones, high resolution satellites and small satellites, augmented, virtual and mixed realities and data and sensors.

These technologies have become or will become a part of the fabric of geospatial interaction as the demand for them increases.

The Global Mountain Explorer provides information from global scales down to specific mountains, such as Borah Peak, Idaho pictured above. (Public domain.)


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GISCafe 2017 Year in Review

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

2017 tested the resilience of geospatial technologies with many natural disasters.  In reviewing the year, we take a look at products, services and technologies that moved the industry forward and responded eloquently to geospatial need.

Disaster response, weather tracking, and predictive weather analysis drove a great deal of development and put to the test those technologies in place for just such eventualities.

Other areas of interest include new developments in sensors, location and Big Data, small sats, mobile mapping and 3D models for indoor mapping, autonomous driving, and building smart cities.

Under the Weather

In an interview with URISA’s GISCorps founder Shoreh Elhami and URISA executive director Wendy Nelson, they offer a broader understanding of what GISCorps is about and how it can help with natural disasters.

Is ArcGIS Online able to generate a setting for help, i.e., website, app, or whatever resource might be needed, during a natural disaster event? And how soon might that be available to the public? 

ArcGIS Online (AGO) can be used to create a variety of story maps. Those story maps as well as any AGO based web apps can be embedded in any website and very quickly. A good example of that is the web app that our volunteers embedded in Fort Bend County’s website on road closures. Another example is a story map that was built by NAPSG shortly after the disaster, our volunteers also assisted with that project.

How has the GIS relief effort for Hurricane Harvey been handled by GISCorps so far and what are the plans going forward?

26 of our volunteers have been working on mapping road closures in Fort Bend County. The information originates from County’s website, emails, and also tweets. The Web app has been helpful to residents, first responders, and the county staff. The project was lead by two of our volunteers who worked with GISCorps Core Committee members on managing the project. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) also requested the assistance of a GIS programmer to pull data from the FEMA site on an ongoing basis. The GISCorps Recruitment team selected a volunteer within 30 hours and put the volunteer  in contact with CDC. We also asked our volunteers to contribute to NAPSG story map. We are currently on stand-by and ready to assist with other projects at this time, be it for Harvey or Irma.

Hurricane Harvey weather map

How do the projects for Hurricane Harvey and Katrina differ or are they the same? What are the priorities?

Quite different. For Katrina, we deployed 30 volunteers onsite, the option to assist remotely didn’t even exist. Volunteers packed up their bags, laptops, and other essentials and head over to the affected areas within a couple of days. For Harvey (and many other disasters of the past few years), we haven’t had to send anyone anywhere. Volunteers work from their home or offices and have been effective in different ways. For Katrina, the priority was to help with the rescue efforts at first (locate people under stress and report to the coast guard) and then, the recovery phase began where volunteers made 100’s of maps and conducted lots of analysis). For Harvey, crowd sourcing and information from social media have become major sources of information for developing interactive maps to first responders and other affected population.]

Tom Jeffrey, CEO of CoreLogic, a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, talked about their analysis for the flooding and storm surge as a result of Hurricane Harvey.
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