Google has announced that it has expanded its AI-powered Flood Hub service so that it’s now available in 80 countries globally. The Flood Hub has pins in various flood-prone areas around the world and clicking on them will bring up a 7-day forecast for where water levels are expected to be.
With the latest expansion, new countries from Africa, the Asia-Pacific, Europe, and South and Central America have been added. The Flood Hub now covers 460 million people around the world and will help them deal with the planet’s changing climate which is accelerating sea level rises and floods.
Aside from expanding Flood Hub’s coverage, the service now offers 7-day forecasts, up from 48-hour forecasts. This data can be used by individuals or governments and organizations for larger-scale actions such as evacuations.
“Flood Hub’s AI uses diverse, publicly-available data sources, such as weather forecasts and satellite imagery,” said Yossi Matias, VP of Engineering & Research and Crisis Response Lead at Google.
“The technology then combines two models: the Hydrologic Model, which forecasts the amount of water flowing in a river, and the Inundation Model, which predicts what areas are going to be affected and how deep the water will be.”
While the Flood Hub is very useful, it’s still siloed off in its own little space. Google said this will change in the future as it’s already working to make these forecast alerts available more directly through Search and Maps.
By expanding it to flagship products, Google will make flood forecasts available to many more people who may not yet know about the Flood Hub research project. Unfortunately, Google didn’t give a timeline for when it plans to bring these flood forecasts to Search and Maps.
The Flood Hubs project is just one component of Google’s Crisis Response work. Crisis Response also provides information about wildfires and earthquakes to help protect residents of affected areas and emergency workers.
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