HERA: visualizing impacts of coastal storms and rising sea levels in California

Have you wondered how rising sea levels may affect our California communities?  Could these rising sea levels cause more flooding during our coastal storms? Are we prepared for what our coast may look like if sea levels rise 1, or 2, or even 6 feet and we get one of our big winter storms?

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hazard Exposure Reporting and Analytics (HERA) web application (www.usgs.gov/apps/hera) shows how California coastal communities may be affected by coastal storms and rising sea levels.  Interactive maps, charts, and graphics help to visualize potential exposure in terms of residents, employees, economic assets, land cover, and infrastructure in hazard zones.  Users can examine flooding hazard exposure for an individual community, explore changes in community exposure given different coastal storm and sea level rise scenarios, and compare the exposure of multiple communities. 

Hosted on AWS, HERA’s code base uses the open-source Bootstrap framework, Leaflet and D3 JavaScript libraries, and GeoServer open-source server for spatial data.  It also accesses data in vector tile format from Mapbox.  All the data behind the web application was processed with Python using ESRI’s ArcPy API.

HERA provides a platform to access scientific research results on coastal storms, sea level rise and community vulnerability. Planners, decision makers, and the public can interact with the platform in a manner that is both easy to use and widely accessible, helping individuals and organizations to craft more informed mitigation and adaptation strategies for these coastal hazards.

Schedule info
Session Time Slot(s): 
Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - 16:15 to 16:50

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