Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Rezatec analytics provide insights into flooding and subsidence

Steve Rogerson
October 18, 2016

UK firm Rezatec has introduced geospatial data analytics to improve the resilience of the world’s cities to changing environmental, economic and social pressures.
The resilience service delivers data analytics via a web-based portal to infrastructure and urban asset managers providing mission critical insights to support mitigating actions against subsidence, flooding, climate change and human-related urban landscape changes.
There is an escalating global need for cities to become more resilient to fast-changing human and natural environmental pressures. In tandem, there is also a growing availability of satellite-derived earth observation data that allow the hyper-detailed mapping, monitoring and analysis of the natural landscapes and the built environment.
This initiative addresses the growing requirement for predictive decision-support tools for urban infrastructure managers. Through the evolution of Rezatec’s geospatial data analytics services and the incorporation of satellite data sources, such as the European Space Agency (ESA) Sentinel 1 and 2, these tools could become the future of strategic urban planning.
The programme goes under the name Urged, for Urban Resilience Geo Dataportal.
“We expect the Urged project to have a profound effect on city-regional economic, environmental and human wellbeing by demonstrating the value of space data in enabling strategic investment and decision making to support more resilient development pathways,” said Philip Briscoe, business unit director at Rezatec.
The planned service will make use of Rezatec’s machine learning technology and techniques applied to satellite data using a mixture of sensor types including optical, synthetic aperture radar, thermal infra-red and lidar, GNSS devices and satellite communications to collect and send ground data from locations that cannot rely on mobile network coverage.
Urged is supported by the ESA as part of the Artes Integrated Applications Promotion programme, which is dedicated to funding and promoting the development of space-based applications and services for the needs of European citizens and society at large.
“Rezatec’s urban resilience project is important not just in terms of commercial opportunity but its value to future cities to enable them to meet environmental and social challenges,” said Roberto Cossu, application engineer at the ESA.
Rezatec’s predictive decision-support tools can identify where there is the likely high risk of subsidence and flooding by applying predictive analysis and techniques. These data insights are then provided via subscription-based access to dynamically-updated data analytics as a service, which represents a new commercial model with claimed greater scalability and price advantages than current consulting based approaches.
As an example, the project data products can be used by infrastructure management companies, water companies and town and city authorities to:

  • Assess land surface movement and soil subsidence hazards;
  • Identify pipeline segments susceptible to land surface movement;
  • Forecast infrastructure and pipeline damage associated with land surface changes;
  • Identify and assess exposure to drainage hazards; and
  • Provide a relative estimation of urban flood vulnerability.
Rezatec has started planning the pilot implementations with Welsh Water, Wessex Water, Amec Foster Wheeler and the Ecological Sequestration Trust.
Headquartered within the UK Space Gateway in Oxfordshire, Rezatec customers are spread across the utilities, agribusiness, energy, urban and forestry sectors.