Philippines: Under a PHP 260 million (PHP: Philippine Peso) grant awarded by the Australian Government Overseas Aid Program (AusAID) and Geoscience Australia, a high-resolution 1,300-square kilometre map of Metro Manila has been provided to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), Philippines.
The map—created through Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology. Presidential Adviser on Environmental Protection Nereus Acosta said it will help in better management of the government’s disaster risk reduction efforts.
Compared with existing digital maps owned by the government, which were captured using other technologies such as satellite imagery, the LiDAR maps are more detailed in that they not only capture the topography of the area, but also the various surface elements as well.
Dr. Andy Barnicoat of Geoscience Australia stressed that this is a crucial factor in geohazard mapping, since elements such as buildings, trees and houses are factors in accurately depicting risk in a particular disaster situation.
The almost 0.5-terabyte LiDAR data set given to the government, however, cannot be used for upcoming disasters just yet, Barnicoat clarified. “It still needs further work to extract relevant data, a process which will be undertaken by NAMRIA and other agencies,” he explained. Once the three-year project has been firmly established, local governments can use data from the LiDAR maps to effectively carry out simulations of strong winds, flooding and earthquake scenarios in their respective areas.
The project, however, is just the initial phase of a broader disaster risk-reduction development assistance program from the Australian government, which is carried under the banner BRACE programme.
Source: GMA News