Skip to main content

International group wins award for developing disaster forecasting for Vancouver

Esri Canada is the only Canadian partner on the award-winning team working on public safety

VANCOUVER—September 9, 2020—Information Technology for European Advancement’s (ITEA) project PS-CRIMSON has been awarded the ITEA Award of Excellence. The project partners created a unique 3D smart model and an integrated information platform, whose focus is on public safety and disaster assessment, with a single-entry point for city officials.

“International crises call for international responses, as we have learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. Being able to predict with much more accuracy the effect of an earthquake or flood on a city is a huge innovation in the area of public safety. As the only Canadian partner in PS-CRIMSON, I’m proud that Esri Canada is part of this effort,” said Alex Miller, president, Esri Canada.

PS-CRIMSON provided Esri Canada with a valuable opportunity to play a key role in a collaborative research and development consortium. The project was a six-member international partnership of industry, SMEs, start-ups and academia collaborating to turn innovative ideas into new businesses, jobs, economic growth and benefits for society.

In Canada, it is being used to forecast a potential disaster.

Because the western seashore is vulnerable to the huge earthquake fault running down the coast, city officials are always upgrading their plans to protect Vancouver. City officials worked with Esri Canada using strata plans to create a 3D smart model. The PS-CRIMSON application and model showed the effect of a 6.9 Richter scale earthquake on the densely populated downtown.

The application and model simulated different scenarios and enabled officials to predict and pre-assess the damage with greater detail and accuracy. No longer looking at a census block level over five to ten buildings, now they could see the effect at the level of interior units in the damaged buildings. They could also see the effect of the flooding that would follow. Their predictions were further enhanced because they used Assessment Analyst®, an Esri Canada software application that helps municipalities more precisely determine the appraised worth of buildings.

“The PS-CRIMSON project showcased enhanced value streams and created new products that don’t exist in the emergency management realm. These value streams provide enhanced visualization above and below ground demonstrating impacts to our built environment. This allows emergency managers to derive detailed information at the building level, supporting response efforts,” said Kristopher Hayne, emergency management analyst, Vancouver Emergency Management Agency.

Public transit is crucial to crisis planning and TransLink was also modelled. Spanning across Greater Vancouver, it includes an extensive bus system, SkyTrain rapid transit, SeaBus passenger ferries, West Coast Express commuter rail, and HandyDART. Smart 3D models of SkyTrain stations and transportation lines were created so city officials could see the differing implications, post-earthquake, for transit users at different times of day.  

The PS-CRIMSON partners showed a unique complementarity in their collaboration: Atos and Esri Canada offered the integrated platform; ViNotion and Sorama were the experts on sensoring; Esri Canada created the digital twin city indoor modelling; Cyclomedia was responsible for the photo-realistic texturing; and the Eindhoven University of Technology supported this with an innovative use of  artificial intelligence. Together, they integrated different silos of data and technology into one common platform. An extension of the 3D smart model coverage to the Metro Vancouver Area is planned.

Learn more about Esri Canada's Assessment Analyst® software.

About ITEA
ITEA is a transnational and industry-driven Research, Development and Innovation (R&D&I) program in the domain of software innovation. ITEA is a EUREKA Cluster program, enabling a global and knowledgeable community of large industry, SMEs, start-ups, academia and customer organizations to collaborate in funded projects that turn innovative ideas into new businesses, jobs, economic growth and benefits for society.

About Esri Canada  
Founded in 1984, Esri Canada provides geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower people in business, government and education to make informed and timely decisions by leveraging the power of mapping and spatial analytics. These solutions enable organizations to better manage their resources, plan their future and collaborate within and beyond their organization. Esri Canada’s products and services help advance successful digital transformation. The company serves 12,000 organizations from 16 offices across Canada and is based in Toronto. In 2019, Esri Canada achieved Platinum Club status with the Canada's Best Managed Companies program by retaining its Best Managed designation for seven consecutive years or more. More information can be found at Follow Esri Canada on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.

- 30 -

For media inquiries, please contact: