Monday, February 18, 2013

Topography-based Analysis of Hurricane Katrina Inundation of New Orleans

Geospatial information is important for responding to natural disasters such as hurricanes.  The data collected during the hurricane Katrina incident was high resolution making the information very informative and useful.  Lidar is a remote sensing technology that has improved drastically over the last decade and is now used commonly as a tool for taking topographical surveys.

Much of the data used by the geospatial  users that responded to Katrina collected their information from the internet for free.  The Lidar data proved to be very useful to the responders for its mapping capabilities providing vital information on the depth of flooding after the breach in the levees.  The data had to be accurate in order for the government to start taking actions and estimate the time needed for relieving the city of the extreme excess of water.  This data’s speed of output proved vital for the relief effort.  It has also proven to be highly effective in the research of how to develop and go about reconstructing the city and infrastructure in the future.  If hydrologic analysis reveal specific area’s were flooding is at the most dangerous levels as in the figure below, then buildings can be strategically remade in order to help disperse the flood waters.  It can also be used to make prestorm simulations more accurate and effective for future events.

Gesch , Dean. (2005). Topography-based Analysis of Hurricane Katrina Inundation of New Orleans. Retrieved from

1 comment:

  1. We did something very similar to this in class! It's amazing how these new technologies can help us understand situations like this in such innovative ways. Now all we have to do is stop the gradual rising of the sea level due to global warming and we'll be good, haha.