We’ve spoken previously about how happy we were that our validation guru Dr. Marcus Travers was able to confirm the results of our demo project in Newmarket for Anglian Water a couple of months ago.
Well, we thought it’d be a good idea to have someone undertake an independent validation study of AIMEE, its place in the market and the feedback from customers through the evaluation of two case studies. We chose Isle Utilities, a specialist strategic technology and innovation consultancy who are highly respected in the water sector.
Isle have independently reviewed AIMEE, undertaken a brief review of competitors in the field and how AIMEE compares to our competitor’s offerings. We just received an interim report and we’d like to share some of Isle’s findings with you before the full report is published in September 2017.
Firstly, Isle were struck by AIMEE’s ability to handle massive amounts of EO image data automatically, and how our QA routines help improve our products:
“AIMEE can automatically extract specified features from satellite and aerial imagery, with high accuracy. This includes height and shape with feature attributes. The Quality Assurance and internal validation process followed is robust, with any identified errors interrogated for causes and feedback to the developers to ensure continual improvement. Machine learning techniques within AIMEE also allows continuous improvements in accuracy.”
Isle also looked at the offerings of some of our competitors, commenting:
“The main focus of this company is the time saving in comparison with field work; they state that using their solution for 100km2 will give take a ‘few weeks’ compared to six months for field work. The speed at which large areas can be covered therefore puts IMGeospatial ahead of the other companies.”
The report continued about others in the sector:
“The closest competitor to IMGeospatial provides satellite data analytics using proprietary algorithms for leakage detection, land use, diffuse pollution risk and other aspects. However, one key difference appears to be the greater detail that AIMEE can achieve and the resulting numerous potential uses in data.”
With our products aimed at not only water but other utilities, insurance and NGOs, we’re confident we’ll build our portfolio of case studies to cover the broad spectrum of organisations who find AIMEE to be a distinct cut above the competition…
If you’d like a copy of the full report or would like to know how we can save your organisation over 30% by subscribing to our actionable business intelligence service then please mail us at email@example.com
As regular readers of this blog will know, our CEO Alexis Smith has a strong commitment to creating positive societal change, especially in developing countries where our technology can assist governments, utility companies and NGOs to support local populations who are in desperate need of clean drinking water and proper sanitation, often in very poor housing conditions or even slum dwellings.
We were delighted therefore to be invited by Isle Utilities to speak at the World Bank’s Innovation conference in Accra, capital of Ghana, in front of delegates from over 20 countries across the continent.
Many utility companies are faced with multiple challenges in supplying water services, often in chaotic circumstances. With limited budgets, poor infrastructure and fast-growing communities of densely-packed people, they require affordable, resilient intelligence on both the population and the water supply and sewage networks.
Take non-revenue consumption (also termed illegal or unauthorised consumption) and leakage from potable water supply pipes. These represent significant issues for utility companies in Africa, which often lose up to 50% of treated water in places. There are frequent instances where people illegally break into supply networks, stealing water for their basic needs. This poses a huge risk of contamination entering the system with all the attendant health problems that causes, not to mention the utility company’s lost revenue. Without appropriate returns on the cost of treating and supplying drinking water, these companies struggle to invest in improving infrastructure, which creates a downward spiral of neglect, decay and non-revenue consumption. Add to this the loss of precious treated water from leaks in the pipelines and it becomes clear the enormity of their problems.
During her stay in Africa, Alexis took time out to explore the region and experience first-hand the local conditions in which people live. Although she’d visited Africa previously, Alexis was still taken by the diversity of experiences, with at one end of the scale the impeccably organised conference itself; modern, air conditioned hotels through to a bizarre and totally hilarious motorcade journey across the border to Togo, organised and led by a self-appointed ‘fixer’ whose white towel draped around his neck and Hawaiian shirt seemed to confer more authority on him than all the gold braid on the border guards and military officer’s uniforms. He encouraged us to ‘pay’ small sums to almost everyone and his dog to ensure smooth passage along the way, and it seemed to work just fine. Absolutely hilarious and a great experience.
The various challenges faced by utility companies, some of which are well-established and many others still maturing, were neatly illustrated by the chaos of Togo. With haphazard, unregulated construction abounding, nothing, not even street names, matched the GPS kit we carried, causing much head-scratching and U-turning as we attempted to rendezvous with our contacts. In true Laurel and Hardy style we eventually got to where we needed to go, but it did throw into sharp relief the kind of environment in which African utility companies must work to maintain and develop water infrastructure.
After a very eventful and informative trip, we’d like to pass on our thanks to all at Isle Utilities for their invaluable help, and to mention we’ve opened talks with the World Bank to develop several separate demo projects across the continent. Hopefully IMG will be back in Africa soon working on the ground with utility companies at all states of maturity, showing them how our range of products can help solve the many problems they currently face. We can’t wait to get stuck in…
In the summer of 2014, Anglian Water’s head of innovation Steve Kaye set out his company’s ambitious aim to “produce a ‘Shop Window’ of innovation to create the water company of the future.”
The plan is to collaborate with innovative companies like IMG to, as Steve says:
“Develop ideas to improve every aspect of our water cycle in the context of the environmental and operational challenges we will face in the future. These ideas may stretch beyond our remit as a water company today, but we will be working with commercial, government and academic partners to implement the best ideas in a major pilot scheme in Newmarket.”
Over the past year, IMG staff have been working hard to develop and implement our Data as a Service solutions for this scheme in a variety of ways, based around the functional capabilities of AIMEE, our Automatic Intelligent Multi-feature Extraction Engine.
Firstly, our Land Use Classification tool helps Anglian understand where potential sources of water pollution from agricultural practices within a Source Protection Zone may be present. Benefits include assisting the company’s compliance with legislation such as the European Water Framework Directive, covering strategies to prevent and control pollution of groundwater.
Then, our Occupancy Probability Index provides Anglian with a capacity prediction dataset incorporating occupancy probabilities derived from the residential building’s attributes such as structure class, height, number of stories etc.
Previously, we’ve spoken about how initial tests on AIMEE’s feature extraction outputs surpassed even our own expectations with an incredible accuracy of over 90 percent across 15 classifications of features, including structures like buildings, walls, roads, curbs and natural features like trees, hedges, lawns and bodies of water.
Well, this week, our Validation SME Dr Marcus Travers finished analysing AIMEE’s outputs for the Newmarket demonstration project and found that the results on more than 15 classifications of feature extraction returned an unprecedented accuracy figure of 95 percent- all achieved automatically. Add to this the ease with which these outputs are scalable up to and including country/continent-wide areas and you’ll begin to understand our confidence in AIMEE.
Steve Kaye shares our enthusiasm too, writing in a letter of recommendation for IMG recently:
“…their solutions have exceeded not only our expectations but also the project brief criteria, redefining what it is possible to achieve in geospatial analysis.”
To say we’re proud of our achievements would be somewhat of an understatement, especially after our team spent last week ‘ground truthing’ AIMEE’s results. That involved trekking around the Suffolk countryside with cameras, maps, GPS gear and datasheets physically confirming that what AIMEE identified as a tree, road, swimming pool or garden shed was, in fact, a tree, a road, a swimming pool or a garden shed…
We’re definitely not resting on our laurels and work is still on-going and we’re busy developing new and innovative ways in which AIMEE can help provide companies with timely, accurate business intelligence. It’s just the beginning of our journey but we feel our small, incredibly talented team are just starting to hit their stride.
There’s something very gratifying in the knowledge that the enthusiasm we have for our technology is shared by the seasoned professionals who we’ve been showing AIMEE to over the last few months.
Such is the interest in AIMEE, our Automatic Multi-feature Extraction Engine, that we’ve been able to attract some incredibly talented and accomplished people onto the IMG team, in fact we’ve managed to fill some very senior positions not through advertising and recruitment campaigns, but simply by introducing our tech to people and showing them it’s capabilities and potential.
Take Alasdair McLay for example, who will be managing the operations of IMG in north America, Australia, New Zealand and Asia, and supporting project operations globally. He has 25-years utilities experience, founded on 10-years at Scottish & Southern Energy in the UK as an Electrical Engineer and then in the Energy Trading. He then went on to spend 14-years at IBM working internationally on multiple projects.He spent 3-years at Sempra (So Cal Gas / SDG&E) as the GIS Project Manager ($20m Project), before designing the solution and selling the GIS & Asset Management Program to PG&E for their Electric Distribution Asset Management Program ($50m), where he was the Solution Architect/SME and Program Manager for 3-years.
Then there’s Oliver Jarrett, our geospatial architect who designs and delivers enterprise-scale, geospatially enabled solutions. With a background in native and web application development, advisory consulting, information and data management, he works at all levels to design, deliver and support strategic direction. He has over seventeen years experience in the geospatial domain, implementing innovative solutions across several business sectors and multinational projects, making him a key member of the IMG team.
Having worked for IMG almost from the beginning, Dr Marcus Travers, project manager, validation and agronomics SME has over 25 years’ experience in measuring, monitoring and modelling growth responses to the physical and biological environment. Former editor of the Arboricultural Journal with previous work for forestry, utility, municipal and private organisations around the world. Has held positions with Nottingham University, Imperial College and Rothamsted Research. Marcus is an expert in remote monitoring and plant growth modelling. He leads on our development as an SME and is instrumental in validation of AIMEE’s results- another significant member of the team.
Postdoctoral Researcher Dr. Li-Pen Wang also joins us, bringing valuable experience and expertise in hydro-meteorology, applied statistics and software development. Li-Pen has worked on the ground-breaking RainGain project, a European initiative aimed at improving the prediction of pluvial floods in cities by the integrated use of innovative X-band radar technology. He’ll be working closely with our geospatial architect Oliver Jarrett.
Mary is IMG’s HR Consultant looking after all our needs, ensuring that our amazing people are right at the heart of our Company. Mary has experience within the geospatial and IT Industry as a head of HR advising boards on HR strategy and people issues. She is a Chartered Fellow of CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development). Mary has a Masters in Human Resources Management and is also a NEBOSH qualified Occupational Safety and Health professional. Mary is also a member of ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association) and has experience in managing and governing information systems within the defence and government sectors.
IMG is in growth-mode and we’re looking to add even more amazing talent to our team, so if you think you’ll be a good fit for our ever-growing family, drop your CV to Mary at:
Current vacancies include: Research software engineer, GIS developers and an office/HR assistant.
Apply now or refer a friend. If your specialism isn’t listed why not contact us in any event to see if our requirements have expanded.
Also, visit our careers page for more info:
Published on 20th May 2017
So far we have Thames Water, Anglian Water, Affinity Water, UNICEF, and the State of Nevada amongst others all lined up to adopt AIMEE, our innovative Automatic Intelligent Multi-feature Extraction Engine, helping them cost-effectively understand and manage the environments for which they’re responsible. To say we’re excited is an understatement! We’re also working closely with DigitalGlobe, the leading supplier of remote sensed earth observation data, to be part of their geospatial ‘big data’ platform GBDX. Add to that the fact we’re in negotiations with insurance giant Allianz to provide actionable business intelligence and you could say we’re flying…
We’ve been busy showcasing our tech at the 2017 World Bank Land and Poverty conference, and the recent UK Flood and Coast conference, showing off AIMEE’s capabilities to some very impressed attendees. We also presented at DigitalGlobe’s Engage event in London, making some worthwhile connections around the world which we’re developing. It appears AIMEE is capturing the attention of these and other heavy-hitters: organisations that recognise the quantum leap we’ve made in machine learning and AI for automatic, unsupervised feature extraction.
All this means we’re now looking to expand our compliment of specialists to augment the core team, enabling us to expand and fulfil several key up-coming contracts both here and abroad. If you’re looking for a role in a cutting-edge, highly disruptive environment where innovation comes as standard, read on…
Are you someone who wants to know how the world works, Our Research Software Engineer will support their development & operations colleagues by gaining an understanding of the problems they face, and then develop, maintain, and extend software to provide the answers.
This role will combine expertise in programming with an intricate understanding of research. Someone who is interested in pushing the boundaries, driving R&D and innovation. A visionary who loves to code and displays attention to detail in their area through skill and knowledge.
The position offers the successful applicant an attractive salary package and benefits including a valuable share ownership scheme.
• Agile methodology
• Test driven development / Continuous Integration experience
• Software development background in Image processing (transforms, fourier analysis, feature extraction, 3D interpolation from stereo images)
• Current experience with the latest radar processing algorithms
• Remote sensing (acquisition, processing, domain knowledge)
• Passion for code: Programming isn’t for the uninterested. You must have a passion for code, developing it from a purely scientific skill into a craft or an art. Building code is much like developing a painting, a sculpture, or a symphony.
This development role will involve software development, working within the software development team and supporting effective key development code and practices. The role requires a focus on the production of well designed, high quality, high performance and accurate code for developing a range of solutions, including a suite of image analysis and related tools. Furthermore, the role will involve exposure to other GIS system providers / systems such as ESRI (e.g. ArcGIS); Solid experience in database schematic design for GIS spatial features plus solid knowledge of GIS system design and development would also be advantageous.
The position offers the successful applicant an attractive salary package and benefits including a valuable share ownership scheme.
Duties to include:
• You will be involved with the end to end delivery of products (design, development, testing, software release and ongoing maintenance)
• Creating, customising and maintaining ESRI ArcGIS and Open Source geospatial applications and APIs
• Creating and modifying spatial databases, tables, views, queries and stored procedures for use by applications and websites
• ArcGIS Server administration and maintenance.
• Participating in project development and testing
• Creating maps having different projections and spatial datasets using for example ArcGIS
To find out more about these exciting opportunities, please contact Mary:
Published on 30th March 2017
Between March 20th and 24th, Washington DC hosted the 18th Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, the premier global forum on land governance. The conference presented the latest research and practice on the diversity of reforms, interventions, and innovations in the land sector around the world, with the theme: ‘Responsible Land Governance: Towards an Evidence-Based Approach’.
18 months ago, we started IMGeospatial- promising to disrupt the sector with the development and use of innovative techniques in the EO field. Our utilisation of machine learning and artificial intelligence can support many end-application areas at various scales to build and support digital infrastructures and increase institutional or organisational capacity. Recognition of our capabilities made this the subject of an invitation to speak at the 2017 World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty. Technology developed by IMG allows informed policy making that promotes better land governance and natural resource management practices, sustainability, risk mitigation and resilience.
IMG’s futuristic artificial intelligence breakthrough, dubbed AIMEE (Automatic Intelligent Multi-feature Extraction Engine) is hugely significant for the geospatial analytics industry which until now has had to rely upon manually processed data- more often than not out of date- to gather business intelligence to help understand the environment. It is this automation at such unheard-of accuracy that is our small start-up company’s advantage over its established, global competitors in the geospatial analytics market, and has generated such excitement in the industry.
Currently, AMIEE can extract 15 classifications of features and their attributes, with the list still growing- at over 95 per cent accuracy. This quite phenomenal performance is completely unsupervised, with no human intervention required. Compare this to current feature extraction methodology returning at best 65-70 per cent accuracy whilst capable of extracting only four basic classifications of terrain (not specific features) and you’ll see why people are so interested in us.
We made many worthwhile contacts at the conference and are busy following them up, and with utility companies such as Anglian Water, Thames Water, Affinity Water, Las Vegas Valley Water District and The State of Nevada Water Start already signed up for demonstration projects, things are really starting to move quickly for IMG. Not bad work in 18 short months!
For interviews or further information contact Andy on aebsworth@IMGeospatial.com
Published on 9th February 2017
Second in a series of two guest blogs by IMGeospatial’s Head of Data Intelligence, Conor G. Smyth Ph.D., FRGS, CGeog (GIS)
Newton Fund workshop introduction, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Having recently returned home from Brazil, it’s with great enthusiasm I can reflect and comment on a very successful visit to the cities of São Paulo and Belo Horizonte.
Essentially, the purpose of the visit was to secure Brazilian partners as part of the UK-Brazil Newton Fund Smart Cities programme. However, the busy schedule of company presentations, pre-arranged one-to-one networking lunches and evening receptions also provided UK attendees ample opportunity to share knowledge about their own companies with other UK delegates.
What was very apparent to me was that the British FCO, Innovate UK and Knowledge Transfer Network staff had gone to great efforts to pull together an effective programme as well as select an appropriate audience in each city for the UK delegates to gain maximum traction from the visit and forge strong new business links. In addition, this effort was clearly complemented by the Brazilian sponsors: The Ministry of Industry, External Commerce and Services, the Brazilian National Development Bank and the Brazilian Industrial Research and Innovation company, along with local trade and investment partners.
So what were the main outcomes for IMGeospatial’s attendance on this visit? I guess the first and most significant outcome was the opportunity to gain an understanding of the modern, distinctive urban challenges in Brazil. Second was the level of interest in our Innovative technology from many different industry and organisational sectors. Lastly and most significantly was the level of new connections I made, with the commitment to further discussions to develop actual partnerships and business collaborations. Indeed, such was the interest, IMGeospatial is in the position whereby we now have to prioritise exactly where we go next – not a bad situation to be in at all!
In the coming weeks, we hope to strengthen our relationships and establish key project partner(s) to submit to the Newton Fund. IMGeospatial is very grateful to have had this opportunity to travel as part of the UK delegation and as a business, we feel our participation has helped enormously as a first step in developing our presence in the region. Being ‘in’ and ‘present’ in country, clearly helps us in that strategic goal.
Conor G. Smyth
Conor G. Smyth, 02/02/17
Published on 23rd January 2017
IMGeospatial to promote economic development and social welfare at UK-Brazil smart cities partnership events
First in a series of two guest blogs by IMGeospatial’s Head of Data Intelligence, Conor G. Smyth Ph.D., FRGS, CGeog (GIS)
As a small Innovative SME like IMGeospatial, gaining access to funding and new markets can often be a challenge, with a number of significant constraints and barriers not only in seeking funding, but also expanding business and innovation beyond these shores. Limited time and ability to engage in a crowded and competitive space can be very off-putting, no matter how desirable an opportunity may be. That said, IMG, through doing research and ‘selective’ engagement, can and do gain footholds into innovation programmes or projects where our business can be effectively promoted and supported with the future prospect of funding and new markets through partnership building.
Urban Transformation underway: São Paulo, Brazil
One such opportunity is the UK-Brazil Newton Fund whose aim is to develop science and innovation partnerships that promote the economic development and welfare of developing countries. I recently submitted an application and we’re lucky enough to have been invited along to meet potential partners in science and innovation- a great opportunity for us to develop our tech presence and fulfil our other prime objective of promoting positive global societal change.
But why, when so many applications like this can be unsuccessful, did IMG even consider applying and spending crucial staff time in the first instance?
Firstly, we felt our participation on this visit would bring us significant benefits that would subsequently justify our time. The key in all of this is to secure partners – often easier said than done. So, we have now found ourselves ‘inside’ an environment where we can appreciate the real, tangible benefits arising from participating on a trip to two of the three economic triangle cities and powerhouses of the country – the most amazing metropolis and mega-city, São Paulo and it’s fast growing counterpart, Belo Horizonte.
Poor infrastructure and housing is a huge challenge in many parts of Latin America
Already we’ve benefited from being selected in significant ways, with our company profile visible to all participants – a massive marketing and promotion boost from which we’ve already received several inquiries from Brazilian businesses. With our participation heavily subsidised by the organisers, we know we made the right decision to spend time applying for inclusion.
I have a very full schedule of meetings and networking opportunities ahead of me for next week, so I’m hoping to bring back news of potential secured partnerships and collaborations. You have to be in it to win it, as they say.
Conor G. Smyth, 18/01/17
In what will surely be seen as a significant milestone in geospatial analytics and artificial intelligence, IMGeospatial hosted representatives of Thames Water and DigitalGlobe to demonstrate our unsupervised Automatic Multi-feature Extraction Engine working in real time. We were able to show our technology extracting a variety of features totally unsupervised at an unprecedented accuracy of over 95%, leading Luca Perletta, Sales Engineering Manager, EMEAR at DigitalGlobe to comment:
‘More than 90% accuracy is awesome!’
It was incredibly uplifting to see our technology proving itself to these EO professionals and the impression it made on them. Dave Benson, DigitalGlobe Regional Sales Director commented:
‘This totally unsupervised multi-feature extraction is a quantum leap for the industry. Being able to classify features over such vast geographic areas at these error co-efficients is a real game changer. We’re very excited to be working alongside IMGeospatial in the future to bring them deeper into the GBDX ecosystem’.
We here at IMG knew the potential for our technology all along, but it is amazing to have it appreciated in this way by key individuals who really know their stuff.
It’s been hard work for our talented team to get to this point but meetings like today’s, plus the news this week that both Flood and Coast and World Bank have accepted our abstracts for their 2017 conferences is confirmation that everybody’s hard work is starting to be appreciated.
Alexis Smith CEO IMGeospatial
#EO #GIS #AI #futurism
After the resounding success of UK Flood Partnership‘s inaugural event hosted at ARUP‘s central London headquarters, all involved agree- momentum is most definitely gathering behind this powerful new initiative to drive the growth of a high quality UK flood resilience industry.
As recently elected Executive Directors, myself (Alexis Smith) and Frank Kelly will be joined on the interim board by our three Non-Executive directors Matthew Farrow, Steven Trewhella and David Wilkes to lead UKFP’s activities for the next 18 months. For our inaugural meeting there was much ground to cover including UKFP’s structure, governance, operations and our main objectives:
Bring together the key public and private sector players
Disseminate best practice and nurture a standards framework across the sector
Facilitate innovation through an ‘Innovation Exchange’
Offer an immediate route for an international platform with access to overseas partners
Already, with over 40 membership applications from diverse organisations such as academia, local governments, councils, the insurance sector, flood advisory agencies, large companies, SMEs, flood sector consultants and property-level protection specialists across the UK, it’s clear we’ve identified a much-needed resource to drive the growth of UK plc.
We’ve set up three Task Groups which I’ll be responsible for to act as the ‘engine room’ of the organisation- each having clearly defined tactical and strategic objectives:
Task Group 1: Commercialisation and Exports will organise such events as the up-coming inbound delegation from north America planned for March 2017, with the long term objective of deciding how we as UK plc communicate internally and externally, ensuring each member is fairly represented by our organisation.
Task Group 2: Best Practice, Building Regulations and Standards will initially be curating what’s currently out there and deciding how to pull all elements together to move forward. This will lead on to how we promote the UK’s standards and practices to those territories that most need our help- both in the developed and developing world.
Task Group 3: Innovation Exchange’s first function will be to set the framework for how the exchange will actually function- where the funding will come from for example. Once the protocols are established the group will be assisting SMEs to get their ideas across to UK big business and local councils and government. We’ll be looking at the pipeline, how it works and how best to draw together and support the various players in reaching their own specific objectives.
All in all an incredibly encouraging inaugural meeting that has left me with a feeling of excitement and high expectations for the future. Our next full meeting is scheduled for February 2017, so if you’d like to be involved and perhaps become a member of UKFP, please feel free to contact us at:
Alexis Smith, CEO IMGeospatial
#UKFP #IMGeospatial #FloodAware #EnvironmentalIndustriesCommission #arup #RoyalHaskoningDHV #UKWaterPartnership #UKFloodBarriers #CommodoreConstruction #LanganInternational #EnvironmentAgency #DEFRA #DIT
Over the past year, I’ve been meeting with other UK flood professionals to form a new and exciting partnership to represent our industry’s interests. The result is the UK Flood Partnership (UKFP), whose primary objective is to support the growth of a high quality, UK wide flood resilience industry. We will provide a unique forum for engagement- representing the first ever attempt to bring together like minded organisations to help tackle one of the biggest natural threats we face, and ensure best practice is disseminated globally and a standards framework adopted.
IMGeospatial- proud to be a member of UKFP
It’s amazing for myself and my company IMGeospatial to be included alongside others such as UK Flood Barriers, ARUP, the UK Water Partnership, Commodore Construction and Langan International amongst a growing membership. Together, as the UK Flood Partnership (UKFP), we’ll bring a collaborative approach to standards, research, innovation, export and cooperation to ensure we future-proof our UK industry through to 2020 and beyond.
As a member of UKFP’s steering group, I’ll be working alongside the Leadership Council that we hope will include representatives from the Environment Agency, DEFRA, the Department for International Trade, Insurers and other key stakeholder groups.
UKFP Innovation Exchange
Further, through the introduction of our Innovation Exchange, we aim to provide a platform to share ideas from both within and outside the industry, linking up local and national government, academia, the sciences, SMEs and individuals to foster development and global adoption of the UK’s brightest flood-resilience technologies. I’m especially excited about this as over the years I’ve developed concepts and products through disruptive innovation– displacing conventional wisdom and markets with alternate value networks to create new markets. With UKFP’s Innovation Exchange, we’ll be actively engaged in bringing these cutting-edge ideas to global prominence.
With the organisational structure now in place, we’re inviting membership enquiries to interested individuals and companies, so if you’d like to get involved or wish to find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you.
#FloodAware #EnvironmentalIndustriesCommission #arup #UKWaterPartnership #UKFloodBarriers #CommodoreConstruction #LanganInternational #EnvironmentAgency #DEFRA #DIT
I was thinking back to the devastating floods in December 2015, caused by Storm Desmond arriving in the wake of unusually high rainfall in the days before the storm hit.
Something powerfully struck me as I watched the chaos unfold with families and businesses yet again being uprooted from their homes and premises by the rising storm waters. More so was the utter disbelief voiced by the victims and emergency personnel as they struggled to cope with the water surging down the streets of Cockermouth.
“How could this devastation be happening so soon after the floods of 2009?”
Cockermouth shopkeepers clear up after 2009 floods
With DEFRA spending roughly £550-580 million per year since 2010, enormous sums of money were spent on additional flood prevention and protection measures. Unfortunately, this significant investment was unable to prevent the massive flooding that occurred in December 2015.
Barriers that had been designed to cope with a 100 year flood event were breached, with flood levels rising well above those of 2009, in itself thought to be a 1,000 year event. It seems we must look for alternate ways to protect our vulnerable communities – but how?
“Restoration, alteration and use of natural landscape features are seen as a potentially cost-effective way of reducing flood risk that can provide other environmental benefits, such as water quality improvements or carbon storage.”
The 2015 event was the result of the Rivers Derwent and Cocker over-topping their banks after an unprecedented 314mm of rain fell in less than 24 hours, causing damage estimated at over £270 million to homes and businesses.
With a greater understanding of landscape features made possible by developments in environmental modelling, this knowledge could be a game changer for those whose lives are regularly affected by floods. By working with nature to enhance the land’s ability to absorb excessive surface water in periods of heavy rainfall, several recent projects have used funding for capital works from the Environment Agency to slow down water run-off from upland areas through land management projects.
Farmers and local stakeholders are encouraged through grant aid to carry out works on their land such as new tree planting, woodland creation, hedge planting, wetland and pond creation to effectively slow surface water run-off into the catchment’s river systems. In this way, upland areas are able to store water more effectively, thus allowing lowland areas respite in times of heavy rainfall.
Key to this technique is the accurate modelling of changing surface features within the catchment. Flood modelling based on Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) of the area can only be relied upon until land use subsequently changes. When the features change, the conventional DTM is made obsolete and any surface water flow path analysis based upon it also becomes obsolete.
Historically, due to the terrifically high cost, DTMs are updated infrequently – perhaps every five years or so. This means that seasonal variations in crop and vegetation cover or bush and scrub eradication by fire for example, cannot be factored in and flood resilience must rely on topographic information that is very often woefully out of date.
It gets worse…
The 2008 Pitt Review asserts that flooding incidents where local drainage systems are unable to cope with excessive surface water are rapidly increasing, due in part to front and back gardens being covered in impermeable tarmac and other hard surfaces. OFWAT estimates that about half the average annual sewerage flooding incidents are as a result of the capacity of the drainage system being exceeded. So, those upland folk’s desire for nice off-road parking for their 4x4s is causing misery for the guys who have the misfortune to live down the hill…
All this was at the forefront of my mind when developing our ‘Evolving DTM’.
My team and I at IMGeospatial/Intelligent Modelling have developed a novel means to organically embed resilience into our patent pending, automatically updated DTM. By clever use of a range of remote sensing, topographic data sets and geospatial information, we can provide a DTM that reflects changes in land use and environmental features in near real-time. This is essential when calculating surface water pathways and ponds in an upland area which feed into the local river systems.
If we are able to assess current pathways and ponds accurately, then we can identify where best to target and implement land management measures to most effectively slow and reduce surface water run-off into rivers and streams.
We are currently working with some key players in the utility sector to demonstrate our capabilities in this specific area of flood resilience, so hopefully in the near future the communities in and around such places as Cockermouth will view recent flood events as unpleasant memories, and not warnings of things to come.
We are delighted to announce the recent arrival of Conor G. Smyth as Head of Data Intelligence at IMGeospatial. Conor, who started on the 30 August 2016, will work closely with the CEO Alexis Smith and IMGeospatial’s expanding team to support and develop business operations in the UK and internationally, across a range of sectors. Conor, who has worked in the international geospatial sector for more than two decades, joins our company from The University of Edinburgh, where he was responsible for the development and delivery of national geospatial infrastructure and services. He looks forward to the challenges of working in a dynamic, global environment to promote IMGeospatial’s vision and mission to change the way you see your world, ultimately to bring about business and societal benefits.
I knew this was going to be an exciting couple of weeks here at IMGeospatial, and events have really exceeded expectations.
I’d been invited by Nevada State Governor Brian Sandoval to accompany his trade delegation on a series of conferences and meetings across Australia to discuss business developments between the two countries. This was an amazing opportunity for us- IMGeospatial already has close ties with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and this visit offered great opportunities to link up with potential partners down under.
After successful meetings between Governor Sandoval and Premier of Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk, I watched history being made as they signed a trade agreement which will include opportunities for IMGeospatial technologies to be introduced across the region and beyond in the coming months and years.
Then it was off to the University of Newcastle Australia, where our hosts made us very welcome. There are so many bright, enthusiastic people there- all interested in how IMGeospatial and the University can work together to develop technologies that improve lives and support economic development in the region.
In addition, I had the opportunity whilst there to connect with some really good people including the Governor of Queensland, Melbourne Water and Sun Water at meetings and networking events in Sidney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Altogether a brilliant, productive trip which will not only bring development and sales opportunities to IMGeospatial, but also help reduce costs and bring resilience to water managers and utility companies in Australia.
IMG and IMGeospatial are the trading names of Intelligent Modelling Ltd. whose registered address in England is:
60-62 High Street,
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Company number: 09730631