Sri Lanka UAV survey for disaster preparedness

The World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) has been using OpenStreetMap, UAVs, and satellite imagery to assess flood risk in the Mundeni Aru and Attanagalu Oya River Basins. In partnership with the Sri Lankan Government Disaster Management Center, as well as the Survey Department of Sri Lanka, the World Bank is working to improve OpenStreetMap data in order to better assess financial and humanitarian risk from recurring floods.

Ground Control Point for UAVs

Updates to Mapbox Satellite imagery in the areas surrounding the UAV surveys helped to broadly improve road and housing data tracing work, while the UAV imagery composited on top provides extremely detailed imagery and terrain models for vulnerable areas.

The portability of UAVs, matched with the high spatial resolution of imagery they provide (often submeter) make them an excellent tool to aid in mapping where aerial or walking surveys are out of date, nonexistent, cost prohibitive or otherwise hard to obtain.

UAV imagery acquired by the Survey Department of Sri Lanka captured extreme detail for tracing homes, roads, and even power lines.

Our image processing pipeline handles these extremely high resolution pixels with the same efficiency as the satellite data we work with. To talk about processing UAV imagery for humanitarian mapping, ping me (@mikel) or my colleague @dnomadb on Twitter.