Residents in the path of floods and mudslides can be warned ahead of time.
3D mapping and analysis technology developed by the Israeli startup GeoX is being incorporated into a broad project funded by the World Bank to protect residents of Ghana in West Africa from reoccurring floods and subsequent damage.
The Israeli technology performs an accurate 3D mapping of the topography and generates a model that helps estimate which areas will be flooded during exceptional rain events. Residents in the path of floods and mudslides can be warned ahead of time.
In addition, the technology is being used to design a dam and protection system from the river tides to reduce the risk of floods.
Ghana is mostly flat and is located slightly north of the equator, so its climate is tropical with precipitation of 1,500-2,000 mm per year, three times that of Israel. The $200 million project, led by the World Bank, is being carried out in the drainage basin of the Odaw River, home to some four million people, who have suffered human losses and tremendous damage to property following repeated floods.
A large proportion of the residents live in low-rise houses and are spread over many small settlements, some with only dozens of families, so it is of paramount importance in an emergency to quickly warn those who are likely to be harmed.
GeoX uses machine vision and deep learning technology to automate the fast and accurate extraction of 3D objects from aerial imagery. The accurate mapping enables to predict which buildings will be affected by the flooding and to what height, and accordingly, warnings are issued to residents.
The mapping also helps in the optimal planning of investments in infrastructure and protection systems, by examining scenarios and models of different rainwater and mud systems and their impact.
The partnership between GeoX and the World Bank in Ghana was created following a previous successful project in the small island state of Sao Tome near Africa.
Izik Lavy, CEO of the company stated that “with the right planning based on the information, it is possible to provide protection and save human lives and property from the climate crisis and the changing world.”
GeoX’s technology is used by insurance companies, banks, renewable energy companies, and local authorities in Israel, the US, Europe, and Australia to perform an in-depth analysis of buildings using 60 different indices and enabling optimal action and deployment.