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AR system could help predict flooding

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Fujitsu has built a river information system that incorporates augmented reality (AR) technology to help monitor water levels and warn against impending disasters.
The system was developed for Manado in Indonesia, at the request of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Indonesia Office and field trials are being conducted with the North Sulawesi province River Basin Organization Sulawesi I and the Ministry of Public Works and Housing.
Observers can use a smartphone water-level measurement application to measure water levels, take photos, and add information on conditions in their surrounding areas. These data are accumulated and consolidated in a Fujitsu data centre. Changes in water levels at multiple measurement locations can be visualised in graphs and plotted on a map.
Observers use the smartphone’s camera to read AR markers placed in the river basin within Manado. The app displays a scale superimposed on the image of the river and observers can digitally measure water levels just by tapping the water’s on-screen surface.
The system was jointly built by Fujitsu and Fujitsu Indonesia, using Fujitsu’s experience of developing river information systems in Japan. Fujitsu Software Interstage AR Processing Server, is used to run the smartphone app.
In the current field trial, an AR marker was installed in one location in the river basin in Manado, to test whether accurate information useful in disaster prevention can be gathered.
Manado, which faces the sea, has four medium-sized rivers flowing through it and is vulnerable to large disasters such as flash floods and river flooding due to heavy rain, as happened in January 2014, when large-scale flooding and landslides claimed a number of lives. The monitoring of river water levels, the rapid sharing of information by local government workers when water levels reach flood-warning levels, and providing residents with rapid and accurate evacuation instructions have become topics of interest.