Open innovation and Real-Time Mapping of Irma Flooding

September 15, 2017 By IdeaConnection

Open innovation, social media and mobile technologies are rapidly changing the face of disaster preparation, response, relief and rescue. Success relies on how well intelligence coming from the crowd is harnessed.

In preparation for the approach of Hurricane Irma, Broward County in Florida launched, a public reporting platform for disaster management.

In the months leading up to the hurricane, Broward County had been working with the Urban Risk Lab at MIT to develop the first version of the software in the United States.  The platform encourages members of the public to report high water levels and other hazards using text and photos on existing social media platforms.

Compiling Flood Reports

The system uses a chatbot that users message directly via Facebook, Twitter and Telegram. It then sends these people a link that allows them to upload their location, depth of water and other details and images. All of this is then used to update an ever-changing map. The aim is to provide the most up-to-date information possible on changing conditions. is purely a platform for information and not for those in need of emergency assistance.

This system was first tested out during a flood in Indonesia earlier this year and 300,000 people made reports. In the near future, the team behind the platform want to roll it out to other locations in the United States.

By pooling together information coming from so many people, open innovation can serve as a dynamic tool for emergency responders, the public and policy makers.

For more information on click here.

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Reader Comments

Also, the solutions to large floods are reservoirs containing water and irrigation canals with different uses; hydroelectric, Irrigation, Breeding of fish and prawns, floating solar panels and others. The large walls in some areas help to take care of X places, but the rapid evacuation is very important (deep channels with levels on slopes, so that the water circulates quickly, just as when it rains in the mountains, the rivers evacuate the waters at great speed .
Posted by Roberto Valdes Martinez on April 29, 2018

In relation to the information received, the most important thing is the prevention and evacuation of the population of flood zones already known. The floods are improved by evacuating the water, by way of deepening the canals and rivers, cleaning the sewers, etc. I propose that you address the Cuban Civil Defense organization, which is sure to provide you with hundreds of ideas free of experience accumulated by multiple years of organization and preparation before the emergency of hurricanes and natural disasters. Cuba is supportive and will help them in this type of support to the population.
Posted by Roberto Valdes Martinez on April 28, 2018

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