Real Time Flood Forecasting with GIS.
Many new applications are being found for Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Indeed, the vast quantities of environmental data being generated today challenge the imagination to create useful and innovative techniques, simply in order to make the data more meaningful. GIS integrates spatial and tabular data to make information both powerful and effective. The application presented here is somewhat unusual: water level predictions from a hydrodynamic model are converted into a flood surface and then a network of streets, houses and rail lines is overlaid on top of it. The generation of the display occurs within minutes and is transparent to the user. This GIS model has been given the acronym SMIFF (Spatial Mapping for Integrated Flood Forecasting) and was initially written for the DWOPER hydrodynamic model; it was recently expanded to accept HEC-II files and will soon be available for SWMM EXTRAN. A schematic of the associated hydrotechnical linker is shown in Figure 18. 1.
Traditionally, water resources engineers have had to wade through long tables of numerical data to determine the results of river flood forecast models. Providing graphical representation of such information, and including analysis capability (e.g. tabular reports of potentially flooded homes, contact names, phone numbers, etc.), is a significant improvement in facilitating the interpretation of a flood forecast and the implementation of an effective emergency response. Tabular reports in SMIFF, in addition to containing the above mentioned information, also access other database files containing historical flooding data, building type(s), their assessed value(s), survey notes, etc.
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