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Archive for the ‘storm surge’ Category

Newscycle Through the Eyes of Maps

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

This week the news hit close to home: my son was working in the Manderley Bay Hotel when the shooter opened fire on Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas outside. He was safe thank God, but terribly shaken by the event as visitors poured into the hotel with panicked stories and later, the hotel was in lockdown for several hours. The level of fear and panic generated by this event was hard to contain as most people didn’t know what was happening and heard only shots  coming from up high.

Rather than rehashing the news here, which everyone has read already via TV or popups on their phones, I’m going to blog through maps that show factual information on this and other recent disasters that have hit close to home, both manmade and natural. Maps put events in perspective, take one incident out of isolation and place it in context.

From The Guardian: The United States owns way, way more guns per capita than the rest of the world. And the best research on gun violence suggests that’s probably contributing to our homicide problem — as exemplified by Sunday night’s horrific shooting.

Here’s a map of firearm ownership around the world, using 2012 data compiled by The Guardian. The United States has nearly twice as many guns per 100 people as the next closest country, Yemen — 88.8 guns per 100 as opposed to 54.8 in Yemen:

We have also the aftermath of the devastation from three hurricanes making landfall in the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Barbuda and others, plus an earthquake in Mexico. Fortunately maps are abundant in the GIS world for tracking and analysis of the events, plus disaster recovery efforts.

In many parts of the world people do not have physical addresses, nor defined property boundaries. The importance of identifying location by addressing/location with just three words is brought to light in this video by what3words:

This Esri Interactive Map presents the enriched Shakemap of the M 7.1 Earthquake near  Puebla, Mexico to show the potential impact to population and households in the area.

Clicking on the shaded areas allows you to view the impact for that intensity:

Orange (very strong): 447k total population; 114k total households

Yellow (strong): 10.2m total population; 2.6m total households

Green (moderate): 8.7m total population; 4.8m total households

Blue (light): 43.1 total population; 10.8m total households

Esri Disaster Response – Hurricanes & Cyclones

While there are still many places that are not on the radar of technology after catastrophic events such as hurricanes, cyclones and earthquakes, map technology may be used to locate victims and learn where to provide desperately needed services. From company materials: Esri is supporting organizations that are responding to hurricane/cyclone disasters with software, data, imagery, project services, and technical support. If you are in need of software or support, complete the Request Assistance form on the webpage above. All requests should be justified in the message section of the form and are subject to approval.

Web mapping applications related to Hurricane Maria provided from the Esri Disaster Response Program and agencies involved in response to and monitoring of the hurricane. There is also an identical page for Hurricane Irma.

CrowdRescueHQ is an organization powered by volunteers, who gather data from social media to support rescue efforts and victims of natural disasters.  This CrowdSourceHQ Observations dashboard is updated every half-minute and displays latest observations reported in Puerto Rico related to Hurricane Maria.

Woolpert Hurricane Irma maps

Woolpert, working under two separate contracts that had very technically different requirements, collected and posted high-resolution, before-and-after imagery of areas in Florida affected by Hurricane Irma to assist with flooding and damage assessment.

From company materials: Miami-Dade County contracted with Woolpert for post-storm imagery as Hurricane Irma approached, while Woolpert’s work with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is part of an existing five-year, statewide contract for emergency mapping services.

“Miami-Dade wanted imagery from after the event, documenting damage assessment, while FDOT wanted to see how high the water got at the peak of the flooding to gain current flood conditions,” Woolpert project manager Mike Zoltek said. “For FDOT, we captured 1,000 square miles of imagery along the St. Johns River in a single day as the water was cresting. The imagery was collected across four counties—St. Johns, Duval, Putnam and Clay—from Palatka to Jacksonville.”

The FDOT project is complete, while the Miami-Dade project continued as weather allowed throughout the week.

The collections have included 6-inch and 1-foot ground sampling distance (GSD) orthoimagery. The smaller the GSD, the higher the image resolution. As part of this process, Woolpert captured aerial imagery, processed the data, paired it with comparable imagery collected prior to the hurricane, delivered it to clients and posted it on a before-and-after online slider for use by anyone affected by the disaster.

The resulting online maps, aggregated with data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Google, enable viewers to look up an address, navigate to an area of concern, and zoom in and out.

Woolpert, whose planes had just returned from mapping the devastation in Houston after Hurricane Harvey when contacted by Miami-Dade, credited the county for preparing for recovery efforts before the storm hit.

Two Koreas Story Map

Two Koreas

Tensions between the U.S. have escalated rapidly, with a lot of chest thumping and threats of nuclear war. The conflict is not new, and has roots reaching all the way back to World War II. It is a conflict over control of the Korean Peninsula, pitting the North against the South.

While the Korean War of the early 1950s never formally ended, its aftermath has created starkly divergent worlds for those living on either side of the north-south divide. This Esri Story Map takes a look at life in the two Koreas; how such a night-and-day difference came to be; and offers some analysis of where the crisis could go from here.

Share this map:

https://arcg.is/0yGri0

 

 

 

 

URISA’s GISCorps’ Behind the Scenes Support for Hurricanes and Other Disasters

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

URISA’s GISCorps has a volunteer presence all over the world who contribute their GIS expertise through data, creating easy to consume visuals for those decision makers and public safety officials to be able to respond to various threats and allocate resources where needed. Using ArcGIS Online, volunteers in one part of the world can provide help remotely without needing to be onsite or using limited onsite resources.


In an interview with 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.

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.]
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Hurricane Harvey Early Predictive Analysis with Wind and Storm Surge Data

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Front and center in the news right now is Hurricane Harvey and resulting devastation, which will most likely remain in the news for awhile.

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ArcticDEM Adds Largest Quantity of New Elevation Models

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

Peter Becker, ArcGIS product manager, Esri, talked with GISCafe Voice this week about the ArcticDEM project, that recently released the largest addition of new elevation models to the project. An ongoing collaboration effort between the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), the Polar Geospatial Center (PGC) and Esri, the ArcticDEM project produces high resolution elevation models to support the national security and scientific requirements of the Arctic. It also serves as a public data model that can be used by scientists to assess and augment climate change models. The NGA presented the new ArcticDEM elevation data the twentieth annual Esri Federal GIS (FedGIS) Conference, held February 13 and 14 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.

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2017: Geospatial Musings

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Happy New Year!

The recent presidential election in the U.S. has created so much uncertainty that it is hard to know what the future of any industry will be. For the first time, I feel there is no point in making predictions for the New Year for the geospatial industry, unless one is an insider with special knowledge of the winds of change.

Sevenhugs SmartRemote

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Hexagon Acquisition of GISquadrat GmbH Enhances Reach of Geospatial for Governments and Utilities in Europe

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure acquired GISquadrat GmbH of Vienna, Austria. The acquisition is aimed at enhancing Hexagon’s geospatial, cloud and mobile solutions for governments and utility providers in Europe as well as bringing in more than 300 customers and thousands of users into the Hexagon fold.

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Esri Web Maps Provide Forecasting for NOAA’s National Water Model

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

About two weeks ago, Esri launched a collection of web maps that display NOAA forecast streamflow data for the continental U.S. NOAA’s recently released National Water Model. Data from the Model combined with the National Hydrography Dataset and fed by NOAA’s National Weather Service data, forecasts the flow of water along the 2.7 million stream segments in the continental U.S. in ArcGIS Online.

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GISCafe Voice Esri User Conference 2016 Report

Saturday, July 2nd, 2016

The question: what do we do with all this data? Is one that really runs parallel with the theme of this year’s Esri User Conference held in San Diego, entitled, “GIS Enabling a Smarter World.”

Jack Dangermond, CEO and President of Esri

Jack Dangermond, CEO and President of Esri

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GISCafe Exhibiting at GEOINT 2016 in Orlando

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

GEOINT 2016 in Orlando next week is expected to be an exciting conference for the government sector.

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How to Integrate Data Capture, BIM, CIM, GIS and CAD

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

At an industry session held at SPAR3D 2016 in April in The Woodlands, Texas, Steve Hutsell, Chief, Geospatial Section U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Seattle District, and Lou Bush, Director of Survey, Bowman Consulting Group, gave a talk entitled: “Integrated Data Capture, BIM, CIM, GIS and CAD – Owner and Industry Perspectives on Products, Processes and Policies for Informed Decision Making.”

CIMmodel (more…)

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