The International Water Institute at NDSU, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Houston Engineering Inc. have created a new Internet tool to assist with the local emergency response effort to fight the continuing flood in the Red River of the North Basin. Available at iwi.houstoneng.com/iwi_lidar/iwi.html, the tool provides access to newly acquired high resolution topographic data obtained by the water institute with financial support provided from local, state and federal partners.
The high-resolution data is based on the use of light detection and ranging technology. Elevations are available every 1.4 meters across the landscape with a vertical accuracy of better than 15 centimeters.
“The tool provides access to excellent topographic information that can be used by a variety of people to make decisions about reacting to this severe flood. This demonstrates the importance of having good information and the use of these data,” according to Charles Fritz, director of the International Water Institute. “The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has been an instrumental public partner in processing the information over the last several days.”
The tool allows emergency responders the ability to zoom in on specific areas, determine elevations based on accurate topographic data, measure distances and areas, observe on-the-ground images in select locations and print maps.
The Web site is hosted by Houston Engineering Inc., a company based in Fargo, as a service to the local community.
For more information, contact Fritz at 1-9747 or (701) 388-0861.