Google Flood Hub, the system that predicts floods

The effects of climate change are increasingly visible and frequent: floods, among many, are the most disastrous and widespread. Global warming is the main "culprit" of the increase in flooding, and predicting flood risk is becoming increasingly difficult. Fortunately , technology is able to provide a great help in the prediction of natural disasters , also making a great contribution to the management of risk and consequences; this is the case, for example, of Flood Hub, the Google system that predicts floods.

The Google system that predicts floods

As illustrated in a post on the company's blog , Google has been working on a flood and flood prediction system since 2018 to minimize the damage from these catastrophic events. Using artificial intelligence, the system generates a forecast model that estimates how much the level of a watercourse will rise and how much land will flood .

As explained by Big G's engineers, the initiative is based on close communication between the company and the government of the country where the forecasting system is to be applied. First of all, all the available data on the history of floods in the country are collected: which are the most affected areas, the periods of the year in which they occur, and the meteorological information relating to the events.

Google then uses satellite images to build a digital model of the area under study on which it performs thousands of simulations of the behavior of the watercourse . By combining this data with that provided by the government, the system is able to manage an alerting system that warns individuals of the risk of flooding.

Google's system predicts floods with 90% accuracy.
Google's system predicts floods with 90% accuracy.

Google has partnered with various local and humanitarian organizations, such as the Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Indian Red Cross, and Yuganter. The goal achieved was to reach every citizen with alerts, even in the absence of a smartphone or internet connection.

Where is the system active?

From the birth of the initiative until today , Google's system that predicts floods has extended to India and Bangladesh , two of the nations most affected by floods. According to the company's report, 360 million people live in the area covered by the system. More than 115 million flood alerts were sent , potentially managing to save as many lives.

We are focused on making alerts more local, accessible, processable and accurate. The more information we can provide about future floods, the more people will be able to make better and faster decisions.

Yossi Matias, head of Google's Crisis Response program

Google plans to reach other countries as well, starting with South Asia and South America. It is currently already working to cover other areas, collaborating with other governments and creating new maps and simulations. Google's system could become very significant if used globally , and would be able to contain many effects of natural disasters, especially those involving the population.

Google Crisis Response

The program is part of the company's Crisis Response initiative , carried out by a team of engineers focused on managing humanitarian crises and making information on natural disasters more accessible to everyone. In addition to Google Maps and Google Earth, Crisis Response also makes use of tools such as Person Finder .

The first, created for the 2010 Haiti earthquake, makes it possible to search and provide information on people who have disappeared following a natural disaster. Anyone can access the portal, whether they want to look for someone or have useful information about the missing. The tool proved to be very useful and able to reunite families destroyed by the earthquake.

The article Google Flood Hub, the system that predicts floods comes from Tech CuE | Close-up Engineering .