An investigation into the suitability Of volunteered information to create a flood extent map

Temple-Watts, Philip (2011) An investigation into the suitability Of volunteered information to create a flood extent map. [USQ Project]


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Much flood destruction is due to humans’ desire to live near water. Accordingly, there is a need for accurate flood extent maps, so that we may be prepared for repeat flood events. The advent of the internet, coupled with the proliferation of GPS and camera-equipped mobile devices has led to a marked increase in the production of volunteered information. Flood extent mapping may benefit from additional sources of data, which could be provided by these devices.

This project developed the mapping of flood extents from volunteered photography and other available data. The specific objectives were to:
 Research existing flood extent creation methods.
 Collect private media featuring the 2011 Brisbane flood high-water mark.
 Collect a topography Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the target area.
 Create a series of 3D points from the high-water marks.
 Process collected points to create a TIN model; intersect this with topography TIN model to arrive at extent map.
 Compare and document produced extent map to that released by the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI).

The online photography site flickr provided the majority of the flood imagery. Most of these marks were able to be collected using RTK GPS. Two topography models were obtained, and three Triangulated Irregular Network (TIN) models created from the collected points. A total of five extent maps were created. This study concluded that volunteered photographs were well suited as a source of additional data to create a flood extent map. It also found that the accuracy of the produced extent map is greatly influenced by the accuracy of the topography DEM used. For best results, the topography DEM should be at least as accurate as the collected data. Advances in photogrammetry software or mobile device-based GPS may greatly automate the collection of flood levels in the future.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Surveying and Land Information (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Supervisors: McDougall, Kevin
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2013 07:09
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2013 01:38
Uncontrolled Keywords: flood extent maps, camera-equipped mobile devices, photogrammetry software
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0909 Geomatic Engineering > 090905 Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4013 Geomatic engineering > 401304 Photogrammetry and remote sensing

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