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In June 2013, Albertans witnessed a catastrophic flooding event described by the provincial government as the worst in Alberta's history. During crisis events, public access to up-to-date......

In June 2013, Albertans witnessed a catastrophic flooding event described by the provincial government as the worst in Alberta's history. During crisis events, public access to up-to-date information plays an important role in raising situational awareness, delivering assistance to those affected by the crisis, and to aid the development of mitigation plans. Crisis mapping, using platforms such as Ushahidi have been used extensively to help people find and use critical emergency information, document road and bridge closures, power outage areas, emergency aid locations, etc. In this paper, we present the development of an interactive flood mapping mashup for the City of Calgary, based on free and open source software packages. The system incorporates state-of-the-art technologies such as Web 2.0 mapping APIs, WMTS (Web Map Tile Service), and open geo-data standards to implement the user interface and the back-end mapping server. WMTS technology was used to provide the base map. To do so, City of Calgary geospatial data was extracted from OpenStreetMap, and map tiles were generated using TileMill, MapBox’s cartographic design studio. The principal server-side component used to deploy the map data was PHP Tile Server. On the client-side, Leaflet’s API was used to develop the mapping functionality and visualize crisis information. Web client technologies HTML5, CSS3, and AJAX were used to rapidly develop a flexible and interactive mapping solution. Spatial data was encoded using GeoJSON extracted from the textual information provided by the City of Calgary. These tools, and open data allowed us to rapidly deploy the site and provide citizens access to a wide range of crisis data via a single map.

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  • 1. A Crisis Map Mashup for Calgary’s 2013 Flood Ebrahim Poorazizi, Andrew Hunter Department of Geomatics Engineering University of Calgary
  • 2. Images courtesy: © Calgary Herald, The City of Calgary, John Van Sloten, Calgary Sun Calgary’s Flood 2013 2
  • 3. Crisis Management Public Access to Up-to-date Information Created by Tagxedo.com3
  • 4. Crisis Mapping 4
  • 5. Crisis Mapping 5 Pros:  Knowledge of infrastructure  Track changes Cons:  Symbology  Cartography
  • 6. Crisis Mapping 6 Pros:  Up-to-date base maps  Find users’ locations  Crowdsourced data Cons:  Symbology  Cartography
  • 7. Crisis Mapping 7 Pros:  Based on user-generated content  Better understanding of victims situation  Symbology Cons:  Track users’ location
  • 8. A Crisis Map for Calgary  See data everywhere in a simple map  Find information in one place  Depend on the latest information 8
  • 9. Starting Point June 20, 2013 @ 8:28 AM: the Municipal Emergency Plan (MEP) was activated. 9
  • 10. Image courtesy: © The City of Calgary Fallout 10
  • 11. Challenge Accepted • June 20, 2013 @ whole day: “…searching…, hmmm, there is no online map to show the flooded area…” • June 21, 2013 @ 9:38 AM: “…let’s develop an interactive map quickly!” • June 21, 2013 @ 10:00 AM: “…challenge accepted!” 11
  • 12. Requirements 12
  • 13. System Architecture • Cross-browser solution • Leaflet JS API • HTML5, CSS3 • GeoJSON • PHP TileServer • Base map (.mbtiles) 13
  • 14. User Interface • Leaflet JS • Leaflet plugins • HTML5, CSS3 14
  • 15. Critical Emergency Info • The City of Calgary Website/Newsroom • Updates via Twitter • Extract to GeoJSON 15
  • 16. Base Data • OpenStreetMap • PostGIS • TileMill • PHP TileServer 16
  • 17. The Final Product • June 23, 2013 @ 12:00 PM: Done!
  • 18. Wrap Up • July 4, 2013 @ 10:16 AM: The City of Calgary’s local state of emergency was lifted. • We kept updating the information until July 8, 2013 @ 9:00 AM • 18 updates during the crisis 18
  • 19. Lessons Learned • Web 2.0 • FOSS Tools • Open Data 19
  • 20. Current Challenges • Use of obsolete technologies • Offering government open data via an open APIs • Interoperable solutions to publish data 20
  • 21. Thank You Any Question? 21 Ebrahim Poorazizi PhD Student Geomatics Eng. Andrew Hunter Assistant Professor Geomatics Eng.