Afghanistan disasterrisk Platform: Using GeoNode, GeoServer and MapStore to help resilient development planning

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Dear Reader,

in this post we want to talk about how we used GeoNodeGeoServer, and MapStore to build a platform for visualization and cost-benefit analysis to support decision makers with resilient development planning, public policy and investments in Afghanistan in cooperation with the GFDRR group at the World Bank. While in this post we will concentrate a little more on the technicalities behind the platform, in case you were interested more into the higher level motivations and objectives you can read this blog post from the GFDRR group.

The goal of the project is to improve the decision-making and data-extraction capabilities for Afghanistan by expanding GeoNode with two additional modules:

  • The first, called Risk Data Extraction and Visualization, to allow users to easily generate maps and extract tabular results for their area and indicator of interest at different return periods and with the ability to drill down at different administrative levels.
  • The second, called Cost/Benefit Analysis and Decision Tool, to  allow users to perform costs-benefits analysis for various hazards (primarily earthquakes and floods) using pre-calculated risk management options, thus allowing the user to discover the benefits of investing in risk reduction.

Both modules are integrated within the GeoNode platform and are based on pre-calculated tabular statistical and geospatial layers (both vector and raster data). The responsive graphical user interface is based on the MapStore framework.

Risk Data Extraction & Visualization

This module enables users to easily visualize and extract risk data for the area of interest at different administrative levels (district, province, national). Based on the selection of administrative area, indicator and return period, the user is presented with a map and a series of charts about the risk assessments.

Input tables are delivered for each indicator (population, GDP, roads, etc), outlining damage/value for all return periods, an example is provided in the table below.

Example losses per district for all return periods

Example of losses per district for all return periods

The tool is able to ingest tabular data (i.e. Excel files and CSV files), automatically process and convert inputs into internal model linked to administrative areas, and finally to present to the users a friendly and modern interface to navigate the collected information.  A summary of all the Risk Analysis available per Hazard type at the country level is presented to users as a first landing page (see below).

Risk Management Tool Options for Afghanistan

Risk Management Tool Options for Afghanistan. Various hazards are available.

By clicking on a Hazard type (e.g. earthquake), it is possible to view the list of available Risk Analysis ordered by Category of target (Agriculture, Airports, Buildings, Healthcare, …), as shown below.

Earthquake Risk Analysises ordered by Category of Target

Earthquake Risk Analyzes available

Users can click on the analysis panel to open the brief abstract and then click on ‘Analysis Data’ button to go into the detailed data page, as shown below.

Earthquake Risk Analysises available -2-

Earthquake Risk Analyzes available -2-

The detailed view of the Risk Analysis presents the title of the analysis along with its brief description. An interactive chart that let the user to change the values shown in the map interactively. On top of the map, a toolbar gives the possibility to navigate through the data, get information or switch layers or dimensions.  The “Dimensions Switcher” tool allows to switch between “Scenarios” and “Return Periods” view instead. Charts and dashboards are updated dynamically. Additional GeoNode resources and documents (PDF reports, images, …) can also be linked to the analysis data and presented to the user for further readings. Last but not least, as shown below, data is available at multiple administrative levels (country, region, county) and we can use the interactive map to drill down geographically, as shown below.

Hazard-Exposures for affected irrigated agriculture

Hazard-Exposures for affected irrigated agriculture at Afghanistan Level

Hazard-Exposures for affected irrigated agriculture at Afghanistan Level

Hazard-Exposures for affected irrigated agriculture in Kunduz Region

Hazard-Exposures for affected irrigated agriculture in Emamsaheb county in Kunduz region

Hazard-Exposures for affected irrigated agriculture in Emamsaheb county in Kunduz region – Return period of 10 years

Cost-benefit Analysis & Decision Tool

This module allows the users to access precomputed (obviously by domain experts) cost-benefit analyses of risk management options in a user-friendly way by making use of maps and charts. This various cost-benefit analyses have been conducted for a number of risk management options for floods, earthquakes, and landslides. For each of the options precomputed  reductions in disaster losses have been produced and ingested into the system (a specific ingestion system was developed suitably for this).  Input tables are delivered for each indicator with precomputed  data as in the table below.

damages to schools under baseline conditions and for different risk reduction scenarios

damages to schools under baseline conditions and for different risk reduction scenarios

The cost-benefits analysis overview is similar to the previous one, see below.

Cost-benefits analysis overview

Cost-benefits analysis overview

The cost-benefit detail dashboards change accordingly to the type of analysis. Typically cost-benefit analysis is conducted on site-specific use cases (roads, rivers, schools, sub-areas, etc…). Panels, charts and dashboards are automatically rendered by the tool and comparison charts and tables are presented to the users for each “Risk Reduction Scenario”. Here below an example for Flood hazard and its impact on the buildings in Kabul.

Cost-benefit Analysis Tool Options for Earthquakes

Cost-benefit Analysis Tool Options for Floods – before loading analysis data

Impact and flood risk assessment for Kabul -1-

Impact and flood risk assessment for Kabul -1-

Impact and flood risk assessment for Kabul -2-

Impact and flood risk assessment for Kabul -2-

The entire framework leverage on GeoNode and GeoServer Parametric SQL Views while the front-end is based on modern technologies and concepts like material views on a single page application based on MapStore and D3-JS for the rendering of charts and dashboards. If you are interested in knowing more about the platform, please, feel free to send us some emails. The code is Open Source as usual, although these very specific modules will not be contributed back to the GeoNode community version.

Last but not least, if you are interested in learning about how we can help you achieving your goals with open source products like GeoServerMapStoreGeoNode and GeoNetwork through our Enterprise Support Services and GeoServer Deployment Warranty offerings, feel free to contact us!

The GeoSolutions Team,

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