Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Flood Hazard Map

by Antonio C. Antonio
September 23, 2013

This article is about the simple but practical application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

As I write this, Typhoon Odette has been pouring an abnormally heavy volume of rain on Metro Manila.  Television footages and radio reportage carry nothing but news and footages of the many flooded areas in the metropolis together with the sacrifices and inconveniences people have to go through (and, sometimes, wade through) to reach their respective destinations.

Most of the people presently residing in Metro Manila are migrants from other provinces.  I was born in Tarlac City, had my primary education there but migrated to the Big City for my secondary and college education.  I met my wife during my college days and after graduation and having our first jobs, we decided to tie the knot and migrate back to Tarlac City.  Later, as two of our children were already I college (UP), we found the need to build a house in Metro Manila… in ParaƱaque City where the family of my wife lives.  Still later, we decided to migrate back to Metro Manila if only to be with our children everyday.

Like most couples, we all dream of building homes for our children… our family.  Oftentimes, the reasons where we build these abodes vary --- from affordability and financial capacity to proximity to our day-to-day destinations, etc. --- but, most likely, NOT for geo-hazard reasons.  Personally, as I’ve already mentioned, the only consideration for my wife and I was: “it’s where my wife’s family live.”  But now that I’m getting wind of new knowledge about environmental matters, things have started to become more processed for me.  I’m more deliberate with the use of GIS information too… and I’m glad that I, even unconsciously then, chose a good location to build our house (north eastern part of ParaƱaque City).

A quick look at a Flood Hazard Map of Metro Manila would reveal the flood-prone areas in the metropolis and the degree of risk some areas present.  There are several links in the Internet where GIS maps on flood-prone areas can be viewed.  Geospatial information is very important in our lives.  Flood Hazard Maps could be used for other practical applications such as (to name a few):

1.     Processing decisions to purchase a property and build a house;
2.     Identifying sites to establish a network for a (food, goods and services) distribution business;
3.     Suggesting schools where (your) children could go;
4.     Suggesting business districts where (your) children could look for employment; or even,
5.     Mapping out routes to take after a long and heavy downpour.

Other GIS maps and accompanying data will definitely have more technical use and influence in making more complex decision than the ones listed above.

Just my little thoughts…


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