The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in the Philippines recently launched a web portal dedicated to accessing flood hazard maps. The United Nations said the Philippines is one of the countries with the most number of disasters over the past 20 years.
The DOST invested in a P1.6-billion program to complement other disaster mitigation efforts by the government, including the University of the Philippines Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment Mitigation (UP DREAM) Project. The UP DREAM aims to map flood hazards with the use of the state of the art technology of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), a remote sensing technology that uses pulsating layer maps to acquire elevation data.
The amount of data processed by the LiDAR has already reached 290 terabytes. Data this big will fit over 18,000 of 32 GB thumb drives or over 127,000 of 4.7GB DVDs.
The data is gathered from the onset of the program in 2012. For four hours a day, four planes equipped with LiDAR sensors hovered around certain parts of the country to map floor elevation.
Available data aside from flood hazard maps are digital surface models, terrain models and orthophotograph. LiDAR provides a higher resolution aerial image of land compared to other maps like Google Earth.
The data portal, which can be accessed in LiPAD’s website, is intended primarily for local government units, which can use the data for land-use plans, emergency responses and infrastructures.
Definitely worth the time to explore. Kudos to all involved.