City of Calgary

In 2013, the City of Calgary flooded. The trauma and loss were devastating to many evacuees and homeowners, and the flooding also disrupted businesses, damaged critical infrastructure and caused power outages.

In case of future flooding, inspectors wanted to be able to prioritize inspections based on the minimum elevation of the buildings, which would tell them if the building was likely affected by the flooding. This information would be more accurate than the manual approach of viewing the front of residences and buildings.

But with over 400,000 buildings to calculate, the project was a big undertaking. Using LiDAR data, they extracted 3D buildings, but it was still unable to tell them the elevations. The data would need to be converted further.

How they made it possible - using the #1 tool for spatial data integration.  

Using FME, the team converted the LiDAR into a DEM. They then created an FME workflow that integrated the DEM with a multipatch geodatabase derived from the same LiDAR dataset. The workflow then performed calculations to gather the lowest elevation, highest ground elevation, and the highest elevation of each building.

The team was able to save time and money by using FME to perform calculations. Their inspectors are now equipped with the lowest elevation point of buildings in the city so they can quickly check them during a flood to determine if they have been impacted.

Calgary is the largest city in Alberta, Canada, and home to over 1 million people.

“FME is the way to automate huge datasets without coding. Transforming data to any format as easy as selecting the data type wanted from a list.” -- Jairo Castillo, City of Calgary