Crowdsourced Surface Elevation Mapping Through Gamification
Jeroen Derriks, Ingrid van Namen
Flooding is a major global problem. In Bangladesh, for example, flooding causes 5,000 deaths each year. In order to properly assess flood risks, an accurate surface elevation map is needed. Unfortunately, this is not available in most countries, as sending surveyors to measure an entire country is too expensive and satellite measurements are not accurate enough. The idea is to create an app that uses the mass availability of GNSS sensors in smartphones to improve the surface elevation datasets currently available. By creating a game that stimulates users to go out and send measurements, it will generate large sets of GNSS measurements. These measurements will be combined with current datasets and satellite measurements to provide a digital elevation model with more accurate surface elevation mapping. This improved elevation mapping will allow governments and other interested parties (research agencies, utility companies, etc.) to mitigate risks and perhaps even save lives. It will also save governments money by enabling them to outsource the updating and maintenance of elevation maps.