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LocationTech NZ

June News: the urgency of data sharing

As Canterbury recovers from a severe flooding event the region will be reviewing how location technology was used to respond to the situation. For an area that has suffered its fair share of disasters, this event highlights just how important timely information is. Data fed from IoT devices provided near real time rainfall and river flow data. Environment Canterbury measures rainfall at 82 sites and 155 river sites, and these enabled emergency responders to closely monitor the situation. In addition, local residents received up to date information if they had subscribed to the ECan text message service.  

As the flooding took hold, roads were shut, infrastructure was damaged and it became harder to keep up with changing information. A traveller trying to drive from Christchurch to Dunedin would have to check seven different local council websites with each council using a different method for showing road closures. Data sharing is the key to information dissemination it was a shame that data services weren’t obviously accessible to allow for mashups.

Natural disasters have no respect for human made administrative boundaries and organisations like NZ GIS for Emergency Management (NZGIS4EM) help to ensure that those boundaries aren’t restricting our own ability to work together.

Flooding in Canterbury is fairly frequent and the Canterbury Flood Imagery Register provides users with the ability to look at historic images and compare with the most recent flooding.

As a reminder, we have a couple of events this month, including today’s event with the IoT Alliance discussing data decisions in the built environment. Please also join us on 29 June for our Connect Event with BlockchainNZ. For the remainder of the year, we then have a series of regular events, so please check out our events page for more.

Finally we would like to offer a huge congratulations to NZTech for winning an NZ Tech award. This is a great recognition for the amazing work NZTech has to expand the technology industry in NZ. Read more about it here.

Ngā mihi
Chris Morris
Deputy Chairperson

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