30 Jul Innovative Network Maps Could Prevent Flooding Tragedy
The wettest month in Kansas recorded history was May 2019. The ground was oversaturated, reservoirs were over-flowing, and intense flooding became imminent. Fortunately, network maps and innovative mapping techniques could resolve future flooding issues.
The lack of accurate, real-time floodwater predictions have been causing chaos for an abundance of regions worldwide. At Kansas University, an associate research professor, Jude Kastens, spearheaded a study that addresses these problems by considering multiple items, such as network maps.
NASA and Network Maps
The Kansas Applied Remote Sensing Program and NASA have worked together to undergo research that allows others to utilize the data generated from airborne remotes sensing systems and satellites. These projects enhance geographic information systems (GIS), which in turn assist government entities to more accurately predict situations and make essential decisions, such as mandatory flooding evacuations. A mapping model and technique developed by Kastens assisted various Kansas officials to accurately depict areas of intense flooding and potential extent. According to Phys.org, “Kastens’ model (called FLDPLN, or “Floodplain”) maps potential inundation as a function of stage height using basic hydrologic principles and gridded elevation data.” These predictions are vital for emergency situations to prepare information and resources.
Kansas is not the only state that has been facing severe issues. Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, and Wisconsin have recently experienced historic flooding situations. Not only does this affect midwestern states, but it also plays a role in overall American farming production.
In Texas, a foreign country has even gotten involved. The Institute for Environmental Studies at Vrije Universiteit-Amsterdam has sent its Director, Jeorn Aerts, to Texas to attempt to save the state billions of dollars and hundreds of lives. Director Aerts was astonished to discover homes and business feet from various bodies of water for the simple pleasure of having a view.
Multiple European counties have faced devastating flooding in the past and have been working to help others avoid such horrible fates. On February 1, 1953, in the Netherlands on a rural farming island, Schouwen-Duiveland completely flooded resulting with 1,836 people dead. After the horrid accident, the Delta Commission was established to create the largest flood defense system, which Texan officials have taken into consideration to try and prepare for any potential threats this hurricane season.
Arizona is taking strides to make cities like that of Flagstaff smarter. Eric Doerry, from Northern Arizona University, states the following about floodwater management in smart cities: “We realized that cutting-edge hydrological modeling, image processing, and real-time sensing techniques could be brought together to help citizens, city administrators and first responders better react to flooding and, ideally, be warned of imminent flooding before the water arrives.” Thanks to innovative advancements in mapping and network maps, various cities, states, and countries are being able to predict and prepare for more natural disasters.
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Author: Valerie Stephen