[OSGeo-Discuss] [Ica-osgeo-labs] Outcomes of #FloodHack at ECMWF - Help improve the Global Flood Awareness System

Suchith Anand Suchith.Anand at nottingham.ac.uk
Mon Jan 25 03:12:56 PST 2016

Dear Julia,

Thank you for sharing this summary of #FloodHack at ECMWF and i hope more people will  contribute to help improve the Global Flood Awareness System in the future.

As you rightly pointed  making GloFAS more user friendly to end users is very important and will help provide faster emergency response. Also it is key that educators worldwide have access to educational resources and tools for increasing awareness of extreme flood events and to help inform students about what they should be doing when a flood watch/warning alert is issued in their region.

For our educator community in Geo4All, A Flood Awareness Education Platform  that was developed at this event might be of interest . Overview at

Thanks to you and all colleagues in ECMWF for organising this successful event  and bringing together a great team of volunteers sharing thier expertise for improving the Global Flood Awareness System.

Best wishes,


From: ica-osgeo-labs [ica-osgeo-labs-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] on behalf of Julia Wagemann [Wagemann.Julia at gmx.de]
Sent: Monday, January 25, 2016 10:16 AM
To: ica-osgeo-labs at lists.osgeo.org
Subject: [Ica-osgeo-labs] Outcomes of #FloodHack at ECMWF - Help improve the Global Flood Awareness System

Dear Suchith, Dear OSGeo members,

as promised I herewith give you an update about ECMWF's first-ever hackathon that took place on the weekend 16 and 17 January, 2016.
The event brought together participants from ECMWF, universities, environmental consultancies and software development companies. Their goal was to explore ways of making the Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS)<http://globalfloods.eu> more user-friendly for its end-users. GloFAS already provides pre-operational global forecasts of extreme flood events.

The hackathon saw about 50 volunteers working day and night to collaboratively develop software prototypes using data from the GloFAS system. More than 3.5 TB of data have been prepared, which were partly served with the help of a Web Coverage Service (WCS), a standard protocol that facilitates data access and retrieval. This OGC WCS server is currently set up in the framework of the EarthServer-2 project, where ECMWF participates as Climate Science Data provider.

Tools that could save lives worldwide

After some introduction to GloFAS and brainstorming around challenges that needed to be addressed, the participants were free to form teams and formulate a problem that could be solved within the time given. Five teams entered the competition and set out to create a prototype that would please the judges in terms of its technical solution, its wow factor and innovation. The three winning entries were:

  *   LIVE (Logistic and Infrastructure Visual Evaluation)
Using GloFAS forecast information to create a 'Time to respond' map<http://devpost.com/software/live-logistic-and-infrastructure-visual-evaluation>
Sets out to summarise GloFAS forecast information into a 'Time to respond' map that helps decision-making before and during a flood emergency. This is presented in a user-friendly way with key statistics which could help decision-making.
  *   FloodIT<http://devpost.com/software/floodit>
Provides more intuitive information based on the GloFAS output to help local users understand their situation.
  *   Interception
A Flood Awareness Education Platform<http://devpost.com/software/interception>
An educational game/online interactive platform to help inform people about what they should be doing when a flood watch/warning alert is issued in their region.
Also, the game/platform will educate them on what to do during and after a flood event.

The #FloodHack page<http://www.ecmwf.int/en/hackathon-announcement-global-flood-awareness-system> on the ECMWF website has links to all the entries, along with photos from the weekend.

We at ECMWF are truly impressed what solutions all the teams came up with in only one and half days. We got very good inspirations in order to improve GloFAS, which will be essential for a better flood prediction and a faster emergency response.

We also hope that this was only the beginning of a series of similar events in order to improve tools such as GloFAS, but also to push the usage of open data to build applications upon. We could also think of a collaboration with OSGeo to organise a hackathon in order to leverage the full potential of open-source software and open data.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Best regards from Reading,


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