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GeoAvalanche: data harmonisation on Natural Risk Zones for snow avalanche information

Francesco Bartoli

(Submission #369)


Every avalanche has a place, a shape and a path which can be spatially described. Awareness of avalanche risk combined with the identification of potential affected areas, because of their location, may become relevant for a spatial data infrastructure. In fact, a good communication toward a common approach to risk management is required by all different national agencies and by governments across Europe which therefore might need to collaborate and share the same model of avalanche data. There is a clear need for accessing fresh information in real-time whereas more people are visiting natural risk areas in the backcountry. GeoAvalanche is a spatial data infrastructure for snow avalanche information that can publish data with common standards and formats - primarily Canadian Avalanche Association Markup Language (CAAML), a GML profile for avalanche data, and then the plethora of OGC realm - for achieving the most possible interoperability across web and mobile clients. CAAML is a common standard among organisations threatening snow avalanche data like bulletins, snow profiles, incidents, etc. and it has been thought to describe their spatial component and to ensure their exchange. GeoAvalanche combines a set of geospatial tools to build an European snow avalanche data portal where users are able to create own maps and exploit information from different sources of data such as community-driven dataset like OpenStreetMap, near real-time meteorological sensor networks and satellite earth observation. This toolkit has evolved from a crowdsourced system of avalanche data into an integrated risk management system ready to enhance the quality of information available on the Web. Moreover the strenghen of cooperation and data harmonisation establishes a framework of data-driven geospatial services compliant with OGC standards at local, regional, national and cross-boarder level which turn into an easier dissemination of avalanche warnings for the public through maps in a timely manner. End users are thus enabled to use maps to avoiding places at high avalanche risk and plan their mountain activities in a safer way. This goal can be achieved by adopting open standards and making Web Feature Services (WFS) of avalanche information available in compliance with the “Natural Risk Zones” theme. This talk wants to address the data trasformation and assimilation for handling national and cross-boarder spatial information related to snow avalanche risk into the Inspire framework. An harmonisation of CAAML semantics into an avalanche package model within Natural Risk Zones theme will be discussed.


Topic Area:  [1.8] Risk and management of natural disasters
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional fields

Comments:   avalanche,risk,zone,inspire,natural,mountain,meteo

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