GHD collects Big Data for flood prevention

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25 July 2013

GHD, one of the world’s leading engineering, architecture and environmental consulting companies, has made strides in the collection and analysis of large, complex datasets (Big Data) for improved watershed management and flood prevention.

GHD was commissioned by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) in Ontario, Canada to develop a consistent format for the GIS mapping of more than 250,000 lakes and countless rivers and streams.

The standardisation of this ‘Big Data’ is critical to facilitate efficient analysis and decision-making by the Ontario MNR, which gathers and utilises data from the 36 Conservation Authorities in the province. The information is used by watershed management and flood control stakeholders. The standard created allowed GHD to assist the Ontario MNR in the refinement of a quality assurance/quality control system used to ensure data accuracy.

The Ontario MNR works to ensure that local water resources can support the needs of communities and maintain a healthy natural environment now and into the future. They focus on protecting residents, property and natural resources through forecasting and warning of flood, drought and erosion hazards, supporting the development of local and regional economies, and ensuring the integrated management of these resources.

GHD’s project manager Wendy Baldin comments, “Better data allows for smarter, more integrated decisions. The adoption of the standardised specification for data collection allows the Ontario MNR to move more quickly from data collection to analysis, which results in better service to their stakeholders and local communities. Ultimately, this translates to better flood prevention and protection for homeowners and municipalities.”

About the project:

Ms. Baldin presented the approach and findings at the 2013 ESRI International User Conference, in San Diego, CA. Her presentation covered the use of ArcGIS in acquisition, mapping, visualisation, specification development, and sharing of Coastal and Inland Waterway GIS geospatial data for use by citizens and government agencies. ESRI, the makers of ArcGIS software, develops technologies which enable organisations to create responsible and sustainable solutions to problems at local and global scales.

To learn more about the project, click here.
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For more information about this release, contact Kirill Reztsov

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