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Real-time Cartography in Operational Hydrology. A web-based Prototype Application for Decision Support in Flood Risk Management. Visualizations for Monitoring, Retracing and Comparing Hydrological Information

English title Real-time Cartography in Operational Hydrology. A web-based Prototype Application for Decision Support in Flood Risk Management. Visualizations for Monitoring, Retracing and Comparing Hydrological Information
Applicant Hurni Lorenz
Number 113315
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut für Kartografie und Geoinformation ETH Zürich Departement Bau, Umwelt und Geomatik
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology
Start/End 01.10.2006 - 30.09.2008
Approved amount 90'228.00
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Keywords (7)

real-time cartography; operational hydrology; decision support systems; flood risk management; Cartography; Real-Time; Early Warning

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
The ultimate goal of any map remains unchanged to this day: the purposive and preferably undisturbed delivery of spatial information to the user.For that purpose, cartographers follow cartographic rules which apply to map production work steps such as acquisition, storage, processing, visualization and archiving of data. Up to the present, these work steps were mostly accomplished off-line, with human supervision. For a web-based real-time cartographic application, however, the entire map production process must be achieved in real-time, on-line and with as little human control as possible. Little research has been done so far in this field and methods for constant and automatic adjustment of cartographic rules and regulation.
In our project, real-time cartography is oriented toward operational hydrology. The automated cartographic process will be realized in a web-based prototype application aiming at supporting decision makers in their task to monitor developments and current situations of looming flood events.
Our web-based prototype will feature three different visualization layers.The first of these layers lets users explore the momentary situation. Main goals are to develop methods to meaningfully combine real-time data with geo-referenced base data. The second layer allows a user to retrace the hydrological developments on the event-scale (past few days) from a chosen moment up to the present. Methodically, animations and multi-views will be applied to visualize developments and different development stages. The third prototype layer eventually offers functionalities to compare real-time data with historical data (past few years). If actual data resemble historical data, the prototype retrieves historical data from an archive and visualizes them. Visualizations come in form of maps as well as statistical representations with actual data classified in them.Related information such as text or media products is also displayed. That way, users may instantaneously relate real-time data to the historical context and thusly learn from former events and experiences. Modelling and archiving historical data is the methodical challenge here.
The scientific community in flood risk management is making efforts to advance reliable short-term forecasts in the field of hydro-meteorology.Previous flood events in Switzerland showed that forecasting is not yet fully developed and unsatisfactory. We believe, however, that this is only one direction to approach the problem. Another, complementary direction is the real-time monitoring that includes activities such as classification, documentation and assessment of an event as it happens. For this purpose, up-to-date and diversified, yet condensed and easy to grasp data visualizations are needed with which decision makers can constantly revaluate actual hydrological situations. By means of our three-layered web-based prototype application we wish to contribute towards this direction and expect to facilitate decision-making during the early warning phase of flood risk management.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

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Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
122291 Real-time Cartography in Operational Hydrology. A web-based Prototype Application for Decision Support in Flood Risk Management. Visualizations for Monitoring, Retracing and Comparing Hydrological Information 01.10.2008 Project funding (Div. I-III)

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