UK, 31 January 2007 – The Atlantis Initiative, a collaborative project that is working on ways to provide better information to address the impact of climate change and flood risks, is now live on the Internet. The site www.dnf.org/applications/atlantis allows anyone with access to the Internet the chance to learn more about the initiative and the partners which are involved, and keep up to date on progress and future work.
With climate change predicted to have an increasing effect on the environment, the Atlantis Initiative will improve the information on rivers and the terrain together with many related datasets for assessing the impacts of changes in flood frequencies, flood magnitudes and sea levels. This should lead to better management of development within the areas at risk and an improved ability to manage emergencies.
Atlantis is bringing together the expertise of some of the UK’s leading players in geographic information, hydrology, ecology, geology and climate change. These are the British Geological Survey, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Environment Agency, Met Office, Ordnance Survey and the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office.
The datasets provided by the Atlantis partners may be developed and maintained either by the individual organisation or the consortia. Compatibility and interoperability will be achieved by adopting common standards based around the Digital National Framework (DNF). This provides the added benefit of simplifying the process of merging users’ own data with Atlantis partners’ data.
Atlantis will build on the partners’ experience, gained over 30 years, of building leading-edge terrain models and structured digital river networks. The new digital terrain model (DTM) will be a variable resolution grid that meets the needs of environmental managers, the water industry and researchers, and will be especially suited to flood management.
Fully compatible with the DTM, the new River Network, based on the most detailed available mapping, will initially comprise a high-resolution centreline network. The dataset will be structured in a similar way to the road network, allowing upstream and downstream navigation, thus enabling the causes and effects of pollution to be traced and predicted.
Other users’ data will be able to be linked to the network using a common referencing system in the same way that street furniture can be linked to the roads. Research is continuing into the development of a two-dimensional description of the banks, and ultimately a three-dimensional description of the bed.
By making other geographic, geological, soils, meteorological, marine and coastal zone data compatible with the River Network and DTM, it will be possible to improve the quality and reliability of existing environmental and engineering procedures and open up the possibility of solving new, or as yet unsolved, problems.