Geospatial Service Oriented Architecture for Flood Inundation Mapping and Hazard Assessment

The primary objective of this project is to create a composite application using multiple Web services to generate flood inundation geospatial grids and estimate flood-related property losses. These Web services are self-contained, well-defined functions encapsulated as reusable software components. This application process generates flood maps for FEMA’s building loss, analysis as well serves flood maps near-real-time over the Web. The secondary outcome of this project is to document best practices in geospatial service-oriented architecture (SOA).

Flood inundation grids are generated by using the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Multi-Dimensional Surface-Water Modeling System (MD_SWMS) tool, which provides simulation programs for a variety of environmental and hydraulic models. One such hydraulic model that was used in this project is FaSTMECH, a two-dimensional hydraulic model. To achieve the objectives of the project, they developed an SOA Wrapper to the FaSTMECH model, which allowed us to invoke FaSTMECH processes using Web Service Description Language (WSDL) Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and SOAP-based XML messages.

Building loss estimations are performed using a loss estimation calculation Web service developed for this project. This service overlays the flood inundation grids, generated from the FaSTMECH model, with parcel-level property data and calculates percentage damage to properties using Federal Insurance Agency (FIA) property damage curves. The loss estimation calculation service is compound; it uses two other data services—a parcels centroids service and a property assessment value service.

The execution of the overall flood inundation and loss estimation business process was performed by a custom execution application. This application chains Web services and executes processes asynchronously. They also tested service chaining using a Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) based module.

Finally, for controlling the process and visualizing process outputs we developed a graphic user interface (GUI) using Adobe Flex framework.

They have successfully developed, tested, and deployed these services and the process application.

Final Report (PDF)

Interim Report  (PDF)

GISciences 2008 SOA Workshop, Park City, Utah PowerPoint Presentation

Project Introduction Presentation (PDF)

The Polis Center at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (Polis)


Community Grids Lab at Indiana University 


David J. Bodenhamer, Executive Director, The Polis Center-IUPUI

Other contacts:

John Buechler, GIS Project Manager, The Polis Center-IUPUI