[ Ø ] Harsh Prakash

Quiet Musings on Cloud, Machine Learning, Big Data, Health, Disaster, et al.

Digital conversion of Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs): Summary

without comments

I have also added this post to this Wiki, in case you want to expound and guide those who follow – The post just helps me ensure the data doesn’t get spammed-out that easily:

My notes reflect procedural changes brought about by the integration of DFIRM Production Tools.

SCHEMA

  • Request jurisdiction(s) for existing geodata like new political boundaries and road names for use as base map. Base map geodata must NOT be older than 7 years.
  • Request GEOPOP from the MOD team and use it to create an empty DFIRM geodatabase. Use existing political boundaries for its geographic extent.
  • GEOPOP creates 3 table types- S (Spatial), L (Lookup) and D (Domain). Edit the main lookup tables:

L_COMM_INFO (community information)
L_SOURCE_CIT (source citation)
L_WTR_NM (hydrographic feature information- stream names etc)
L_STN_START (properties of starting points for stream distance measurements)

  • Create panel index and data catalogs
  • Georeference, scan and rectify geodata at its recommended scale to capture required floodplain features. Refer to FEMA MSC for full-sized PDFs of FIRM panels.

LINKS

Related:
* HEC-RAS Online Help
* WIKI: Edit Lock Schema

Written by Harsh

December 27th, 2004 at 8:12 pm

Wanted: Proactive Policies

with 2 comments

What is the most effective method to spread the digital wave, especially of the spatial kind, in rural communities and developing countries? The following links offer some fodder, although Korea left the company of developing nations some time ago. A lot of talk has centered around the potential of wireless to bridge the digital chasm between the Knows and the Know-nots in places lacking adequate infrastructure.

• “Broadband Korea”
• “Broadband Wonderland”
• “South Korea leads the way”

More musing on this topic with time.

Related:
• Political Equilibrium

Written by Harsh

November 14th, 2004 at 6:40 pm

Posted in LBS,Planning,Social

Tagged with , , ,

Graphic Software

with one comment

The discussion “So …How About That Election Coverage?” at Directions Magazine makes you think about graphic software, like Macromedia Flash, that cater to small-time spatial needs.

Such graphic software, minus the topology and advanced query benefits, function well as basic spatial tools and comfortably serve data over the web with a “fair” amount of interactivity.

Does this make your overpriced IMS overhyped and overblown too?

[my comment]
“Macromedia Flash fills this niche quite well as demonstrated [here]. And as the market seems to indicate, it does that [while] satisfying more customers than what an overly fancy GIS would. [This] reminds me of the MapQuest survey when polled customers had expressed great contentment with their level of map detail, whereas cartographers were red with indignation. Akin to using an atomic clock to serve your wake-up call- not needed!”
[/my comment]

So is the complexity in Geospatial, better still Spatial, Information System or SIS overblown too? Much of SIS requires common-sense logic arranged linearly. If a person can drive her car in rush-hour traffic as she deciphers vague directions off a schematic map while trying to make sense of rain-washed road signs and maintain a semblance of conversation with her passenger, and still manage to engage the kid in the back-seat [read “multi-linear tasking”]; she can achieve a sound understanding of spatial databases with little persistence, except for the eye-for-details that comes with practice.

My point: SIS is non-complex and not at the cutting-edge of technological change, and there is ample room for non-traditional spatial software!

PS:
• This rise of non-traditional spatial software challenges the accepted definition of SIS. If you were to follow the modernist’s approach to design where in the end you remove everything you can without taking away from the essence of your creation and apply it to defining a SIS, you wonder what such a conceptual SIS would be in its simplest stark-naked Spartan form?

Written by Harsh

November 11th, 2004 at 7:35 pm

Posted in GIS,Mashup

Tagged with , , ,

Wireless Application Protocol

with one comment

As the year-end inches closer, let us look at one significant industry trend:
A potential increase in location-based wireless services [“Where are my kids …no really, WHERE are my kids …and give me that in Lat/Long”]? This could be brought about by a spread of handy ‘location-aware’ productivity tools, such as a GPS-enabled internet-ready Blackberry phone that also functions as a TV. Such tools could tell you when your family members or selected friends move into your vicinity. Based on industry reports, this might be old news in parts of Japan.

• SmartPhlow: Real-time Traffic Monitoring
• Real-time Mobile Mapping

Related:
• Social Software

The earliest benefit could be in emergency-response which just might be the area most likely to get heavy government funding. Ex: Volunteer Fire Departments being able to access critical layout and hydrant information that they need for machine placement and egress route planning as they respond to a distress call. Or, first-responders being able to retrieve medical history on-the-go. Check out an earlier National Incident Management System memo. Also, take a look at the developments at the WV Statewide Addressing and Mapping Board which plans to implement a statewide Spatial Information System [SIS] using aerial photography etc. The project has been funded in part by Verizon. Its objective is to help emergency-response by integrating mapping with E911, postal and public utility services, and telephone companies. This project was initially started to provide city-style addresses for rural areas so that all areas receive the same level of emergency services. With this broadening of its scope, it could serve as a guide for other states.

• ESRI Library: Challenges for GIS in Emergency Preparedness
and Response

• “Efficient Operations and Emergency Response”

Related:
• Google: SMS, Froogle, [http://www.google.com/wml]
• “U.S. launches a new Global Positioning Satellite”

Written by Harsh

November 6th, 2004 at 7:30 pm

Posted in LBS,Technology

Tagged with , , ,

Social Software

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Interesting blog on Life With Alacrity about Social Software. For the ignoramus, crudely put Social Software or Groupware or Collaborative Software is software that facilitates group interaction. Often, there is “no overt coordination with the group functioning as an aggregation of interested individuals” rather than as a cohesive unit.

Two intriguing perspectives on the internet from the blog:
• “By ‘augmenting human intellect’ we mean increasing the capability of a man to approach a complex problem situation, to gain comprehension to suit his particular needs, and to derive solutions to problems” [Engelbart. Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework. 1962].
• “To appreciate the importance the new computer-aided communication can have, one must consider the dynamics of ‘critical mass,’ as it applies to cooperation in creative endeavor. Take any problem worthy of the name, and you find only a few people who can contribute effectively to its solution. Those people must be brought into close intellectual partnership so that their ideas can come into contact with one another. But bring these people together physically in one place to form a team, and you have trouble, for the most creative people are often not the best team players, and there are not enough top positions in a single organization to keep them all happy. Let them go their separate ways, and each creates his own empire, large or small, and devotes more time to the role of emperor than to the role of problem solver” [Licklider. The Computer as a Communication Device. 1968].

• Center for Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems
• Open Groupware
• “A group is its own worst enemy”
• Friend of a Friend
• Applications: E-voting, WAP, Blogging […of course!]

Related:
• “Friendly foxes are cleverer”

Written by Harsh

October 30th, 2004 at 7:02 pm

Map Viewer and Google

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Interesting web-based map viewer– very snazzy. Now only if the download was quicker.

In related news, Google acquires Keyhole: a company promising a similar 3D interface. Right now, if you google an address, Google provides links to its 2D maps from Yahoo!Maps and MapQuest. Google also provides possible address matches and map links if you type in a name, akin to what Switchboard does.

It would be better if you could click and drag on a map to limit the spatial extent for your search. Although that would clutter the clean interface of Google Local, which by the way, does show maps.

Note to self- invest in Google.

PS:
Pi: Quiet Musing
• Google acquires gbrowser.com, and moves into video search. And here‘s the Google Blog.

Written by Harsh

October 27th, 2004 at 6:15 pm

Posted in GIS,Mashup,Service

Tagged with ,