Disaster Resilience in Asia and the Pacific Region

Severe weather and natural disasters are phenomena inevitably endured by the Asian continent and outlying Pacific regions. Preparedness beforehand and an effective recovery plan is crucial for countries in these areas to promote disaster resilience.

The Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna Rivers in India and Bangladesh have a history of excessive floods that put millions of people living in the floodplains at risk. From 2002 to 2008, Riverside worked with Bangladesh’s Center for Environment and Geographic Information Support (CEGIS) and the Bangladesh Disaster Preparedness Centre (BDPC) to develop and implement a community flood information system for Bangladesh. The operational system that was developed provides accurate and timely information on current and forecasted flood conditions for a part of Bangladesh’s floodplain. The information is disseminated to the local government and communities through cell phones and text messaging in a format that is understood and useful for flood mitigation at the community level.

This infographic (click to enlarge) created by the Asian Development Bank shows recent significant disasters in the Asia and Pacific region including data regarding number of deaths, people affected, and estimated damage. Further development of accurate forecasting systems and mass communication methods are imperative to the livelihoods of billions of the Earth’s human population.


GIS – Providing Context for the Rest of the World

By Jason Polly, GIS and Remote Sensing Analyst

Jason's Blog

This year’s pilgrimage for more than 2,500 GIS professionals took place in early March in warm Palm Springs, CA at the ESRI International Developer Summit. The conference boasts more than 300 technical sessions for building the latest web, desktop, and native environments. The conference commences with the always-anticipated plenary session, which features highlights from the array of software building blocks ESRI provides for developers to use in building custom applications for their clients. The relevance of GIS in today’s world was highlighted with a simple quote from Jack Dangermond: “Geo-dimension is the geographic science that provides the context for everything we do.”

On the first day of the conference, I gave a technical presentation on building a custom, real-time desktop snow mapping tool for the state of Colorado. Leveraging the latest ESRI desktop framework, coupled with Python automation, daily maps covering the state snowpack condition are automatically generated. These maps not only provide visual observation of snow pack conditions, but also measure the volume of Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) by region. These tools aid in solving problems related to water supply and demand.

Narrowing the selection of attended technical sessions is always a hard task at hand; fortunately, ESRI posts recorded sessions online for those unable to attend. Videos can be found here: http://video.esri.com/channel/0/latest. A few presentations worth highlighting include:

Dave Bauwman: Choosing the Best JavaScript Frame Work:  http://www.video.esri.com/watch/4279/choosing-the-best-javascript-framework-for-you

Daneil A. Lewis: Better Code: http://video.esri.com/watch/4461/write-better-code

Riverside continues to provide cutting edge custom GIS solutions for our clients in both ESRI and open source platforms.