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FloodCube: National Flood Information Platform

Submitted on April 03, 2013

What problem are you intending to solve?

Providing a one-stop platform for flood warnings, forecasts, visualizations, mapping and weather information

What is the technological approach, or development roadmap?

The purpose of the project is to develop a one-stop platform for flood related data, information and visualizations including flood warnings, forecasts, inundation maps and rainfall conditions. The platform will be accessible through various platforms including smartphones and tablets, and optimized to provide an easy and intuitive user experience to non-technical users. The platform will help communities make better-informed decisions on the occurrence of floods, and will alert communities in advance to help minimize damage of floods.

The platform will integrate real-time stream sensor information for over 14,000 sensors in from several federal agencies including USGS (US Geological Survey), NWS (National Weather Service) and USACE (US Army Corp. of Engineers). Rainfall products will be integrated from NEXRAD Radar super-resolution precipitation data feeds. The platform will utilize latest web technologies (HTML 5, AJAX, JSON, WebGL, Canvas, etc.) to communicate and integrate real-time data, and provide an interactive environment with large-scale data analysis and visualization capabilities.

DEMO VIDEO AND SCREENSHOTS

Demo Video (captured on Galaxy Nexus) http://www.youtube.com/watch/v2xEYQk_g14

High resolution screenshots are available here

DEVELOPMENT STATUS

Current status of the development:

  • A responsive mobile user interface is designed and test with Stock Android, Opera and Google Chrome browsers on Android devices
  • 255 USGS sensors integrated to the system with flood warnings, real-time and historical data streams
  • 1011 communities are integrated to the system
  • Connectivity network is created to query sub-networks of sensors within communities
  • Google Maps, and Google Places APIs are integrated
  • PostgreSQL is used as the temporary data source
  • Three navigation functions (by location, community, and point of interest) is implemented to system to provide information to the users

Ongoing and future development:

  • User interface will be optimized for more platforms
  • Rest of the 14,239 USGS sensors will be integrated to the system with flood warnings, real-time and historical data streams
  • Rest of the 35,000 communities will be integrated to the system
  • Connectivity network will be created for all new objects to query sub-networks of sensors within communities
  • Cloud computing options will be explored for data acquisition and temporary storage
  • Weather information will be integrated to the platform
  • Flood forecast information will be integrated to the platform
  • Flood inundation maps will be digited and organized to connect with real-time stream data and integrated to the platform .

How will end users interact with it, and how will they benefit?

The data and information in the platform will be organized around communities. Users will be able to select a community from a list, map or from a point of interest (address, business, etc.) to access customized information about their communities. The platform will be optimized for access via smartphones and tablets with notifications and geo-location support for flood warnings. The platform will help communities make better-informed decisions on the occurrence of floods, and will alert communities in advance to help minimize damage of floods

How will your app leverage the 1Gbps, sliceable and deeply programmable network?

A nation-wide flood platform requires access to more than 14,000 of stream sensors. NEXRAD radars produce more than 3 gigabytes of data every hour. All these data and information needs to be processed every 20 minutes to provide a smooth and customized experience to general public. Accessing and processing this data requires high speed network, and large-scale storage and computation power.

Further application information

Additional supporting information, materials and resources

Read about project updates - project blog

Take a look at the existing code - project repository

Will your work be beta-ready by the end of the Development Challenge?

We are currently working on a prototype for Iowa with similar objectives on a small scale. We can have our beta-ready for Iowa by the end of the development challenge. A nation-wide platform will be possible with additional support in 18 months.

How much effort do you expect this work to take?

A nation-wide platform will require 18 months for development and testing.

Do you need help?

We welcome support from industry experts to provide feedback for the platform about needs, requirements, and communicating information with public.

If you can help let them know in the comments below.

Ibrahim Demir

and team members

Our team consist of Dr. Ibrahim Demir, University of Iowa, works in the area of environmental information systems and scientific visualization; Dr. Bilal Gonen, University of West Florida, works in the area of complex networks, social network analysis, and semantic web; and Mustafa Nural (PhD Candidate), University of Georgia, works in the area of web applications, semantic web and artificial intelligence. Our team also consults with domain experts in flood forecasting models, radar data processing, and flood risk analysis.

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