World Bank Group

06/20/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/20/2021 05:37

In Bangladesh, drone and GIS mapping tools come to the aid of designing disaster shelters during COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 shutdown, the project team could not undertake topographic surveys to design the layouts. This substantially delayed the technical design of both MPSCs as well as solar nano-grid schemes.

The layout and orientation of a structure are critical to preparing the associated technical outputs for construction such as procurement documents, etc. Furthermore, an orientation of MPSCs from north-south alignment can enable optimum utilization of roof space for the solar nano-grids.

Remote design with data

With no access to the sites for the safety of the people, could LGED design the layout with orientation remotely?

One possible answer might be to use Geographic Information System (GIS) data to enable mapping. However, the challenge remained regarding access to reliable and extensive geospatial data to visualize the potential sites.

LGED acquired Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates of MPSC sites and georeferenced drone images of DRP camps. And yet, the availability of both these datasets was only the first step. The challenging task was the integration of these datasets in coordination with different officials who were in different locations due to countrywide lockdown.

'We started with simple steps by using drone images and GPS coordinates. We superimposed the GPS data over the georeferenced drone image to visually represent the site condition, layout, and orientation. The whole real-time coordination with the architect, structural engineer, field engineer, safeguards specialists and the World Bank team was done using a video conference system.' said Javed Karim, LGED Project Director.

The data facilitated evidence-driven decision making. Accordingly, LGED carried a thorough analysis and identified the orientation of these disaster shelters (e.g., X degree towards east/west).

Similarly, LGED used drone images to analyze each nano-grid scheme's capacity per MPSCs with the number of solar panels and other equipment.