Flood Visualization is an early-stage prototype that simulates the dangers and hazards caused by floods on the natural and built environment. It’s a desktop application that uses real-world data to visualise rainfall in a virtual environment the maps to the real world.
The prototype currently depicts a small area of land located in Curtin, ACT, Australia. It uses terrain topography data to generate a virtual terrain with the same altitude as the real thing, and overlays simulated water that is created from rainfall data captured in the same area.
Within Flood Visualization, the water can be changed to show hazards – high-flow or deep areas that would cause damage to the surrounding environment.
We were approached by Prentice Eco Systems to develop a high-quality tool that could interpret topography and rainfall data and visualise it in a virtual environment. The pilot was built to scale once the data was available, which meant using procedural generation tools to automate environment creation.
The biggest challenge was creating a recognisable visual landscape with limited data, particularly regarding the placement of builds. We developed a scalable image processing solution that created black-and-white building layouts, so that basic structures could be placed automatically.
We also adapted Gaia’s terrain generation features to spawn vegetation based on more processed images so that trees and shrubs were positioned with a high degree of accuracy.
Ultimately, the project was used to attract larger investment from government and engineering organisations so that a national, and then global, solution could be created.
Prentice Eco Systems
September 15, 2017