Florida International University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication in conjunction with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Center have developed a web app, known as the Sea Level Rise Toolbox, which helps Miami-Dade residents visualize the possible impact of rising seas in South Florida on their neighborhoods.
Using elevation data from the Google Elevation Service, and based on sea level rise calculations created by Peter Harlem, a scientist at FIU’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Center, the web app is an interactive sea-level rise viewer where users can enter an address to visualize how up to a 6-foot rise in sea level may affect Miami-Dade County neighborhoods.
“Our goal with our app is to inform residents of South Florida about the potential impact of sea level rise where they live,”– said Susan Jacobson, assistant professor of journalism at FIU and the web app project manager. “We want to help our fellow Floridians understand sea level rise and how it may affect their community.”
The Sea Level Rise Toolbox will also include a database of flood reports from both government and citizen sources in South Florida. Miami-Dade County recently launched an open data portal that includes flood reports, which will be included in the flood database.
“The flood report database will help residents identify the incidence of what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calls ‘nuisance flooding,’ a phenomenon that is increasingly common as sea levels rise,” Jacobson said.
The web app is free and was officially launched at BarCamp Miami on March 28.
The web app was developed under SJMC’s Eyes on the Rise (www.eyesontherise.org), a project funded by the Online News Association.
For more information on the Sea Level Rise app, please visit: http://eyesontherise.org/app/