The role of GIS for a flood-damage prevention strategy in the
Romanian railway's transport network

PhD. Eng. Gabriel Popescu – ISPCF SA
PhD. Eng. Eugeniu Cezar Ivana – ISPCF SA


(Abstract )

    In Romania, after the major floods of the last two years, is very important to develop a flood damage prevention strategy for Romania’s transport infrastructure network.
    In the framework of this strategy, a very important role to prevent the flood-damages it will have the geospatial information system (GIS). GIS is essential to effective preparedness, communication, and training tool for disaster management. Integrated GIS & GPS technology is most essential element to improve the preventive measures for rail disasters.
    In Romania, traditionally until the end of the 20th century, the topographical maps and special plans for railways at scales 1:5000, 1:2000, 1:1000 or 1:500, which are the main graphical support for railway’s GIS, have been prepared by manual cartographic techniques. After the year 2001, the policy of the Railway Study & Design Institute (ISPCF-SA), as the main designer for railways, was to make all topographical maps, special plans and technical projects in digital standard formats. The development of GIS has made it possible to generate such maps, by CAD/CAM/CAE techniques, directly in digital format.
    In the years 2005 and 2006, orthophoto maps and remote sensing records were used to assess damage caused by floods on various rivers. The photogrammetric damage assessment consisted of aerial photoflights, photogrammetric restitutions of the images and generation of a photomap for damage assessment of the railway lines in Romania. So, in our strategy, the railway-tracks affected by the flood will be better evaluated in accordance with the ground truth.
    The GIS is a useful tool for planning and managing graphic and alphanumeric information, and their utility has being probed in lots of works and studies. GIS is a powerful tool for rapid analysis and visualization of spatial phenomena and their relationships. Creation of a GIS historical database covering an extensive rail network is a major undertaking, the resulting computerized record of conditions and changes offers much potential to visualize and interpret aspects of rail history.
    The Geographic Information Systems provide a new analysis tool which is especially appropriate to support the accessibility studies because they allow: to generate, to load and manage spatial information, to perform difficult mathematics operations, spatial modeling and statistical analysis and to generate high-quality cartographic outputs.
    The Emergency disaster management requires locating the exact spot, incident mapping, identifying resources, establishing priorities, developing action plans, and implementing the plan to protect lives and property. Time will play crucial role in disaster management activities. The effective planning can began only after identifying the exact location of the incident, accessibility information, and resources available. The GIS can be used as spatial database to provide the necessary information require for rescue planning with in the least possible time frame. The responsibility for database and infrastructure application administration is of the Railways IT Company, which manage all geospatial data about infrastructure elements including tracks, switches, signals, art works, electrification poles, embankments, tunnels, real estates etc. GIS allows disaster managers to quickly access and visually display critical information by location. This information facilitates the development of action plans that are printed or transmitted to disaster response personnel for the coordination and implementation of emergency efforts. GIS also allows continuous monitoring of the rescue activity and dynamic changing in the strategy to minimize the effect of disaster.