Department of Computer Science at UH

University of Houston

Department of Computer Science

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of
Master of Science

Shaunak Vairagare

Will defend his thesis



Houston, TX is an important center of domestic and international businesses and has one of the largest medical centers in the U.S. Houston often encounters a number of thunder storms and hurricanes each year. These are often accompanied heavy rainfall for a short duration. This results in street flooding for short durations and usually results in traffic jams, inconveniences and sometimes accidents. Structural flooding causes property damage. To the Emergency Management Services (EMS) system, these delays can be a matter of life or death. Currently, day-to-day street flooding in Harris County is still acknowledged as unresolved problems.

This project integrates existing sensor networks of various agencies to create live centralized database of rainfall and water information, analyzes this information in real-time using GIS and LiDAR data and finds the areas and streets that might be affected by street flooding. This data is displayed on an interactive real-time web map, showing alerts, water-levels, activity graphs, and projection of areas that may currently be under water. Map also displays layers like flood report density over 10 years, ground elevation and flood affected routes. A news ticker displays flood warnings. Initial results are encouraging, and the domain experts agree to the alerts and water projections shown by this system in initial short tests. Rigorous testing by OEM (Office of Emergency Management) for about a year and over many thunder storms will be needed to fine-tune this system before it is released to public.

Date: Thursday, November 17, 2011
Time: 11:00 AM
Place: 550-PGH
Faculty, students, and the general public are invited.
Advisor: Prof. Nikolaos V. Tsekos