Disaster Relief: Kokusai Kogyo Co., LTD Helps with Disaster Relief in Japan

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Japan is one of the countries most affected by natural disasters, enduring ten of the worst natural disasters in the 21st century. Just the cost of reforms and rebuilding in 1995 and then in 2011 has cost more than USD 181 billion. There are various types of natural disasters that strike Japan from timeto-time, include earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, typhoons, and volcanic eruptions.

The Regional Development Bureau for Nagano Prefecture, Japan, retained Kokusai Kogyo Co., LTD (KKC) for a JPY 20 million project to help prevent disasters and reduce risk. The project goal was to develop a system for quickly understanding the extent of damage and creating a rapid response base map to reduce the risk of secondary damage.

KKC provides expertise in developing geospatial solutions in disaster risk reduction and prevention. The company combines cutting-edge geospatial information technology with know-how accumulated through years of experience in supporting various local government services. In addition to geospatial solutions, KKC provides data acquisition services and offers a holistic approach in providing a solution to assist with disaster damage assessment.

As the owner and operator of numerous aerial mapping platforms, the company can deliver satellite, airborne LiDAR survey, ALS aerial oblique imaging, and aerial HD video data to meet the mapping needs of any project. The solution for the Regional Development Bureau was to use airborne LiDAR data to create a post-disaster topographic map.

Using conventional methods, it typically takes between four to six months to create the base topographic map. However to speed production time, KKC employed a non-linear workflow. The project team worked on different aspects of the imaging workflow simultaneously to accelerate the effort. As KKC obtained the necessary imagery, the data was posted on the website the same day for team access.

To fast-track production, KKC used Bentley Pointools to process, manipulate, and analyze the dense point clouds. Pointools is powered by Pointools Vortex, one of the industry’s leading point-cloud engines, which enables users to work on huge datasets with billions of points, manage scene parameters interactively, and rapidly load and unload native format point-cloud POD models. The software uses real-time, high-performance streaming to provide incredible display performance while visually maximizing point-cloud density, clarity, and detail.

Using Pointools, point clouds can be visualized with a range of fully blendable shading options enabling easier visual interpretation on the fly and production of enhanced imagery or movie content. Pointools also quickly and easily identifies how an asset has changed over time through point-cloud differencing. The software also features unique point layer technology for accelerated point-cloud editing speed. Pointools facilitates the quick manipulation, clean up, or segmenting of the point-cloud model to enable enhanced understanding and easier reuse. By employing parallel processing of point clouds along with extracting feature data and editing ortho images, KKC was able to reduce their mapping production time by 50%.

Usually it takes approximately a month to calculate volumetric comparisons between the before and after images of a disaster. Using Bentley’s InRoads, KKC calculated the volumetric output within four days. InRoads allowed KKC to choose from a variety of volume calculations to enhance accuracy over traditional methods. Sophisticated end-area volume calculations let users determine the level of accuracy based on the frequency that cross sections are cut. The software also recognizes components in the cross section and accurately computes component volumes.

KKC was also able to utilize their custom iPhone/iPad app, K-MA, for field data entry to share the information smoothly across all project members. This approach enabled comprehensive information collection and yielded the necessary geospatial insights for recovery and reconstruction work. The firm’s solution cost 60% less than using conventional methods.

Not only did KKC accelerate the production workflow and quickly provide the base map, the firm ensured that the base map met the requirement of Japan’s Landslide Prevention Act for mapping and mitigating damage from natural disasters. KKC is dedicated to helping their government prevent disasters and reduce risk in the event of a natural disaster.

Rachel Rogers is the Director of Civil, Geospatial, Imaging and H&H products for Bentley Systems. She has marketed 3D modeling products industries for more than 20 years.

A 155Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine complete with images is available by clicking HERE