What it's about:
A new tool that lets people use Google’s Street View to see how floods could affect their homes has been showcased at the TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2017 Hackathon.
CityConnect, using the city of Cambridge in the United States as a test, aggregates data to build a 3D model of flooding at street level. The team built two models: one to show the depth of water during a 100-year flood in the year 2035, and another to show depth during a 100-year flood in 2070.
Residents can actually see flood levels lined up against their homes so they can determine what parts of their property might end up underwater when a disaster occurs. This allows people to take pragmatic steps like repositioning electric meters or reinforcing seals on windows.
The project is still being fine-tuned, with plans to incorporate virtual reality into the tool so that users can experience walking down a flooded street in their neighbourhoods.
Why it's noteworthy:
For many people, visualising the impact of climate change on your own home makes the risks more personal and steps to address it more urgent.
CityConnect modelled Cambridge for its project, but the same process could be repeated for any other city to bring the threat of flooding to life for homeowners.
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