Friday, September 25, 2015

When a powerful and deadly hurricane makes landfall somewhere, geospatial data can be very useful. In 2005, a category five hurricane known as Katrina made landfall in New Orleans and affected much of the infrastructure and people in the city. Lidar data has been used to determine the land surface elevation of a place and was used in Louisiana in 2002 after an oil spill. As a result it was available three years later and provided high-resolution elevation data for New Orleans after Katrina made landfall and was extremely helpful in how people would respond to its aftermath. The lidar data was needed in order to determine the magnitude of flood waters in specific areas around the city.  It allowed people to make estimates of the floodwater volume as well which were needed so that people could anticipate the amount of time it would take to get rid of the floodwater in the city. People were more knowledgeable on how to respond to a flooded area with this data information. In addition, people can use this information to determine how flooding might impact an urban environment. This data will also be helpful to people when planning on building infrastructure or reconstructing so they can be more ready for these types of disasters in the future.

Gesch, D. (2005). Topography-based analysis of Hurricane Katrina inundation of New Orleans. 

           Science and the storms: The USGS Response to the Hurricanes of.


  1. This is a great application for the technology, but I have to wonder how much relief efforts were actually based on this kind of information as opposed to information about demography, race, income levels, etc. Was there possibly a hierarchy among the most inundated areas based on who the government and aid organzations felt deserved help first?