6 January, 2016

How mapping technology impacts real lives in the Pacific

The mapping application Vanuatu Globe that models sea level rise due to climate change is making a real difference to the lives of the people of Vanuatu.

The tool shows people where the greatest impact will be due to sea level rise in low lying Pacific nations, so they can plan their towns and infrastructure for the future.

“After I looked at the maps they painted a very clear picture that it is no longer safe to stay here. We have to move, otherwise it will be too late,” Chief Poilapa, Mele village, Efate, Vanuatu said.

“If the sea level rises, it will be too late. We really must move to a safer village site on top of the hill.”

— Experience the Vanuatu Globe tool

Google Maps has provided the perfect canvas to communicate village level exposure to sea level rise to help communities adapt to climate change

“Vanuatu Globe uses Google technology, which is really familiar to most of the users, which allowed us to focus on awareness and less on technical skills. People could be immediately productive without high levels of training,” NGIS Principal GIS consultant Nathan Eaton said.

NGIS worked on the Vanuatu Globe with the CRC for Spatial Information to provide capacity building and fundamental datasets that would allow them to model sea level rise.

Nathan Quadros from the CRC for Spatial Information said the Google Maps platform makes it easy for anyone to access.

“Once this 3D modelling information is captured, the 3D models can be adapted to Google Maps so that people can interact with it in different ways. You can access it anywhere on the web,” he said.

— See more international development work from NGIS

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