Last update: 17:33 | 14/05/2018
The urban flooding situations after heavy rainfall in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) in the last few days have severely affected traffic and daily activities of residents. The good news is that citizens can now locate inundation spots and see whether their route is too flooded or not thanks to an application named UDI Maps.
The app UDI Maps
UDI Maps, which was launched last year, is an application to warn users of flooding locations and high tides, developed by ARIS Vietnam Co. Ltd. under the investment of HCMC Urban Drainage Co. Ltd.
This app can be easily installed on smart phones using Android (via Google Play) and iOS (via App Store) operation systems. It has a visual and friendly interface, with main functions of giving direction, displaying weather and tide status, warning about inundation, as well as providing a tool for the public to collaborate by sending updated information.
According to its developer, UDI Maps makes use of the traffic map along with all direction finding features of Google, so the result can be highly reliable, detailed, and precise.
In the main interface, users can see weather information (name of weather monitoring terminal, rain level, status – the ‘sun’ icon and ‘cloud’ icon to show sunny and rainy weather respectively). It also shows the level and status of high tides measured by terminals. Certain locations of the map have detailed pictures provided by the camera systems at the time when citizens access this app.
When there is rain, weather monitoring terminals in hot spots immediately transfer data (including precipitation and water level on roads) to the server. An officer of the HCMC Urban Drainage Co. Ltd will then update this piece of information onto the app and deliver suitable warning to the public as well as alternatives to avoid flooding areas in the routes.
Citizens can also collaborate by sending their own information and pictures of inundated spots via the app to the server, which will help the company to diversify and standardize data sources. These valuable data contribute to help the HCMC Urban Drainage Co. Ltd to provide timely, precise, and proper solutions for all users.
To gain information on inundation, since May 2017, the HCMC Urban Drainage Co. Ltd have already installed weather monitoring terminals in many streets like the first five on Duong Van Cam in Thu Duc District, Nguyen Huu Canh in Binh Thanh District, Huynh Tan Phat in District 7, Le Duc Tho in Go Vap District, and Truong Vinh Ky in Tan Phu District. Then, the company continued to install 32 terminals in the downtown area of the city, with the plan to have 39 more in other areas.
Before this, to help monitoring the flooding status of the city, the HCMC Urban Drainage Co. Ltd bought equipment from foreign companies with very high cost of around VND32 million ($1,405) per pack. Recently, the company has installed a pilot warning system using a Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (Mems) developed by engineers of the Saigon Hi-tech Park Research Laboratories with the price of just VND10 million ($439) per pack in ten locations.
According to Mr. Ly Tho Dac, Deputy Director of the HCMC Urban Drainage Co. Ltd., the results they received when applying this new system is the same as those of the foreign equipment current being used. Therefore, in the near future, the company will proceed with the evaluation of the new system to install it in other locations.