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Earth Software Science

New Interactive Map For Understanding Global Flood Risks 64

Posted by timothy
from the seek-out-higher-ground dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Using computations on the massive near-global SRTM surface model from NASA, this map lets you query watersheds, interactively set the sea-level and flood the world (North America at 500m increase in sea-level), or play around with river thresholds on a global or regional scale (computed rivers around NYC/NJ). It can be used to get an understanding of the watersheds and water flow paths in your local neighborhood; do you know where rain (or pollutants) that falls in your backyard end up? The map is freely available to the public."
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New Interactive Map For Understanding Global Flood Risks

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  • by dohzer (867770) on Monday February 24, 2014 @04:47AM (#46321613) Homepage
    Why not go the whole hog and allow for a FALL in sea-level by enabling negative values? Surely we have the necessary sea-floor maps and people who think climate change is running the other way.
  • Balderdash! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday February 24, 2014 @06:18AM (#46321839) Journal
    If we start taking this sort of alarmist garbage seriously, my beachfront condo might get reassigned into a higher-risk flood zone, potentially increasing my insurance payments to something vaguely resembling actual cost! Then, if it should happen to flood for a third time this decade, I'll have to make do with less taxpayer money to rebuild it. How is that fair?

    (In case it wasn't abundantly obvious, I don't actually espouse that point of view; but there's a reason why flood-estimate maps are Big Political Business at least in the US: because stuff getting flooded happens approximately all the time, we have the 'National Flood Insurance Program [fema.gov]'. Your level of estimated risk governs your premiums; but not your payout in the event of an incident, so people are even less happy than usual to hear from Mr. Pessimism, when it comes time to redraw the Flood Insurance Rate Maps, regardless of his accuracy.

    Luckily, with a suitable understanding of the political process and access to a few lawyers and engineers, it is frequently possible to evade such heinous miscarriages of justice as 'being classified as high risk just because your property has a recent history of flooding' and the like.

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