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NEWS
Woolpert Provides Imagery of Hurricane Irma Impact
September 19, 2017

Woolpert, a national architecture, engineering and geospatial (AEG) firm, working under two separate contracts, has collected and posted high-resolution, before-and-after imagery of areas in Florida affected by Hurricane Irma to assist with flooding and damage assessment.

Miami-Dade County contracted with Woolpert for post-storm imagery as Hurricane Irma approached, while Woolpert’s work with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is part of an existing five-year, statewide contract for emergency mapping services.

Mike Zoltek, Woolpert project manager, said these projects had technically different goals.

“Miami-Dade wanted imagery from after the event, documenting damage assessment, while FDOT wanted to see how high the water got at the peak of the flooding to gain current flood conditions,” Zoltek said. “For FDOT, we captured 1,000 square miles of imagery along the St. Johns River in a single day as the water was cresting. The imagery was collected across four counties—St. Johns, Duval, Putnam and Clay—from Palatka to Jacksonville.”

The collections have included 6-inch and 1-foot ground sampling distance (GSD) orthoimagery. The smaller GSD is the higher the image resolution. As part of this process, Woolpert captured aerial imagery, processed the data, paired it with comparable imagery collected prior to the hurricane, delivered it to clients and posted it on a before-and-after online slider for use by anyone affected by the disaster.

The resulting online maps, aggregated with data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Google, enable viewers to look up an address, navigate to an area of concern, and zoom in and out.

Woolpert, whose planes had just returned from mapping the devastation in Houston after Hurricane Harvey when contacted by Miami-Dade, credited the county for preparing for recovery efforts before the storm hit.

“By arranging these services prior to Irma making landfall, we were able to have our flight plans prepared and our planes ready and stationed nearby,” Zoltek said. “Understanding the needs of the customer allowed us to adjust to the shifting trajectory of the hurricane and quickly get our collection underway.”

View the initial publicly available imagery. View the latest information on this collection.


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