This a short essay about rising sea levels, geospatial technology and wild and colourful headpieces. It’s about ensuring that people who enjoy wearing them can continue to do so without looking out of place.
Venice in northern Italy is a nice place to visit at this time of the year. Abit cold mind you so it's probably worth bringing a hat. A big colourful one would be best since Carnevale di Venezia is taking place.
Carnivale has been a tradition across Italy for almost ten centuries and although it was originally a pre-Lent festival nowadays it's an excuse for anyone to don a mask and costume, parade around the old city and enjoy the live music.
If you're lucky enough to attend some time keep in mind the people who are working hard during the festival to ensure that it can be celebrated for many more years to come. Chances are they're using geospatial technology as we speak. Let's have a quick look at some of them.
Urban and regional planners are responsible for the Development Assessment process in and around Venice. In other words they decide what can (and cannot) be built where and when. They’re responsible for implementing and enforcing the strict zoning regulations and for informing policy right up to the highest levels.
Surveyors are responsible for accurately collecting information on the rising water levels and on the impact which it may have on the ground. They also capture information regarding the location and status of existing flood defences which will go on to inform engineering solutions for protecting the city.
Spatial Analysts are the wizards of the geospatial world. These specialists use satellite and aerial imagery to analyse the natural and human activity happening on the ground. They also produce 3D Digital Elevation Models (called DEMs) which are used to prepare best and worst-case flood modelling scenarios.
All of the above professionals provide inputs which are used to support policy and decision makers who work at local, regional, national and international levels. Need some convincing on the need to implement climate change targets and increase energy efficiencies? Then check out one of the maps which was probably produced using geospatial technology and information.
So if you make it to Carnevale di Venezia some time in the future make sure that you tip your hat to the people who are using geospatial technology to keep this tradition going.