Indian Scientists Tap Into Geoinformatics For Mapping Natural Hazards
KOLKATA: Uttarakhand is yet to recover from the massive rain-triggered floods that left thousands dead last year and exposed the gaps in disaster management strategies. Now Indian scientists have devised sophisticated satellite-based and computer-centric technologies to map potential natural hazards to aid in disaster mitigation.
Geoinformatic tools (the application of technology to geographical sciences) such as remote sensing (RS)
and geographic information system (GIS) were successfully put to use by researchers at the Jadavpur University's School of Oceanography here to scientifically analyze and prepare zonation maps of Bihar. The procedure, which can be extended to the entire country, was used to map earthquakes, floods and droughts and an emerging environmental phenomenon - urban heat islands.
"This study reveals the actual zonation of different natural hazards on the basis of which the policy makers can formulate future plans. It can be a pathway for making such efforts for every individual state and then compiled together as a country report, Tuhin Ghosh, joint director of Jadavpur University's School of Oceanographic Studies, told IANS.
"It can be charted for various climate zones too," he added. The report, titled 'Natural Hazard Zonation of Bihar (India) Using Geoinformatics: A Schematic Approach', can be read in Springer's Briefs in the Earth Sciences' series of publications.
Though previous attempts were made for similar studies, Ghosh contended the report compiled by him and researcher Anirban Mukopadhyay is the first to put all the data - of intensity and distribution of hazards - on a common platform, that is, GIS. GIS is a computer system that integrates, stores and analyses geographical data for informed decision-making, while remote sensing, with the help of open source (freely available) satellite data and sensors, can help one identify, locate and measure objects without coming in direct contact with them.