Application of Near Real-Time and Multiscale Three Dimensional Earth Observation Platforms in Disaster Prevention

Whey-Fone Tsai, Bo Chen, Jo-Yu Chang, Fang-Pang Lin, Charlie H. Chang, Chia-Yang Sun, Wen-Ray Su, Ming-Fu Chen, Dong-Sin Shih, Chih-Hsin Chen, Shyi-Ching Lin, Shiann-Jeng Yu


Taiwan frequently experiences natural disasters such as typhoons, floods, landslides, debris flows, and earthquakes. Therefore, the instant acquisition of high-definition images and topographic or spatial data of affected areas as disasters occur is crucial for disaster response teams and making emergency aid decisions. The National Applied Research Laboratories has implemented the project “development of near real-time, high-resolution, global earth observation 3D platform for applications to environmental monitoring and disaster mitigation.” This developmental project integrates earth observation techniques, data warehousing, high-performance visualization displays, grids, and disaster prevention technology to establish a near real-time high-resolution three-dimensional (3D) disaster prevention earth observation application platform for Taiwan. The main functions of this platform include (1) integration of observation information, such as Formosat-2 satellite remote sensing, aerial photography, and 3D photography of disaster sites, to provide multidimensional information of the conditions at the affected sites; (2) disaster prevention application technologies, such as large-sized high-resolution 3D projection system, medium-sized active stereo projection systems, and small-sized personal computers with multiscale 3D display systems; (3) a 3D geographical information network platform that integrates data warehousing and cloud services, complies with the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) international standard for image data exchange and release processes, and includes image overlaying and added-value analysis of disasters; and (4) near real-time and automated simulation of image processing procedures, which accelerates orthophoto processing once raw data are received from satellites and provides appropriate images for disaster prevention decision-making within 3 to 6 h. This study uses the 88 Flood event of Typhoon Morakot in 2009, Typhoon Fanapi in 2011, and the 311 Earthquake of Japan in 2011 as examples to dissert the applications, functions and features of this platform for supporting disaster response and disaster recovery decision-making.


earth observation technology; data warehousing; high-performance visualization displays; grid; disaster prevention technology; 3D geographical information

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