India: To deliver real-time highway weather forecast updates, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has deployed a web-based GIS solution. The Highway forecasts have been recently added to the list and cater to the requirements of people traveling on highways, considering the economics involved in the delay of goods due to weather conditions.
It has been a long time since IMD is using a wide network of static and mobile field observatories to collect meteorological parameters and develop specific products for end users. The absence of GIS tools that could effectively handle dynamic meteorological data (spatial and non-spatial) in various formats and projection systems and develop a comprehensive decision support system or an early warning system, was making it difficult for the organization to obtain effective last mile connectivity in a weather significant time frame.
The implementation of web-based GIS technology however, enabled IMD to build products that were more interactive, more informative (both analytically and visually), and were available online in near real time mode. Esri ArcGIS offered IMD a platform that had flexibility and comprehensive tools and functionalities to develop applications that could ingest data from satellites, radars, and hydrological resources. Its Web Feature Services (WFS) and WMS services in turn allowed its end users to use geometry and attributes for flexible and quick geospatial analysis.
“IMD did not have the capability to dynamically deliver weather updates for the highways. Given the need for real-time data and updates, IMD wanted to deploy the latest GIS technology. Weather updates have a limited self-life and so have to be delivered in real time or at the earliest,” reveals Rahul Saxena, Scientist ‘E’ India Meteorological Department. It’s important to understand that IMD needed ArcGIS in developing a comprehensive application that could do spatial analysis, 3D analysis and image analysis.
The new application will help IMD in taking decisions quickly, highway repair and flyover construction activities, incident and emergency management, life and property protection, automated geospatial database management, pre-determination of warnings against extreme climatic phenomena, like dust storms, heavy rains, heat waves, etc.