IIITM-K develops GIS-based app showing pre- and post-flood ground conditions


Thiruvananthapuram: The Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management-Kerala (IIITM-K) has developed a web-based Geographical Information System (GIS), which uses satellite imagery to give the exact description of ground conditions at a place before and after the catastrophic floods that wreaked havoc across large swathes of Kerala.

The GIS application, developed using satellite images available in the public domain, offers the micro-level condition of every nook and cranny of the flood-hit areas in the state, which can be accessed at the click of a button.

IIITM-K Director Dr Saji Gopinath said this GIS-Interface can be used as a basic tool to easily sift through genuine and bogus compensation claims as the images present the exact situation on the ground.

The application, which also integrates Google Map, can serve as a database in assessing the extent of damage and deciding the compensation eligible for the losses suffered by the people in flood-ravaged areas.

“It is a very useful application, which can be used to navigate a locality by sliding the images given on the interface,” Dr. Saji Gopinath said.

The vertical slider has a handle bar which can be dragged to the left or right, with the images on the left side of the line showing the pre-flood condition and those on the right the post-flood situation. The name of a place and its geographical coordinates can also be searched on the system application.

The app uses the images of August 21, 2018 to give a precise depiction of the devastation caused by Kerala’s worst floods in a century. For the pre-flood scenario, it has used the images as on April 9, 2018.

Dr Saji Gopinath said the most challenging task in developing the system was to search and find microwave satellite images in the public domain. “We have used the ESA Copernicus-Sentinel satellite images available in the public domain for developing the system,” he added.

T Radhakrishnan, GIS Team Leader and Assistant Professor at IIITM-K, said the GIS app was developed as part of the social responsibility endeavours of Kerala’s premier IT research and study institution, and it did not entail any additional cost.

The IIITM-K team that worked on the project comprised Vishnu Kabil, Lal Prakash, Sarath Zacharia and Nisha Vijesh. Visuals are available at fb.com/iiitmk.tvm