An initiative at the heart of the regional natural risk prevention strategy
Floods, forest fires, costal erosion, landslides… in the French region of Languedoc-Roussillon, natural risks are a reality. Flooding is by far the most significant of these, with over 585 000 people living permanently in areas at risk from floods. In response to the reasonable expectations of councilors and residents, the Languedoc-Roussillon Regional Council has set up a regional observatory for natural risks, the ORN (Observatoire régional des Risques Naturels), in partnership with the main local organizations involved; with the aim of encouraging information sharing and developing a real risk-awareness culture.
A cross-departmental project led by the Information Systems team
In line with the regional strategic action plan set out in the ‘Regional Pact’, and following an initiative to automate and structure the council’s main business processes, at the end of 2008 the Council’s Information Systems Department launched an initial version of its ORN portal.
In 2010, in order to make even more relevant and dynamic information available to all the key stakeholders – the general public, partners and professionals – the IS Department significantly overhauled the ORN, in terms of its functional, organizational and technical aspects, ensuring that this was a truly cross-functional project. Bull was entrusted with integrating a new solution built around a shared database, which could be automatically populated by all the partners involved, and capable of streaming content dynamically and establishing indicators and summary reports tailored for each audience.
A star-shaped organization structure has been set up, with a group of some 28 officers trained in mapping across the council’s key business areas, guaranteeing the quality of the business data supplied.
Bull: at the heart of a dynamic mapping application serving the business and citizens
Bull has defined a global solution, working in close collaboration with the Water and Natural Risk Prevention Department, in order to establish a comprehensive data map. This makes it easier for the mapping applications to use the data and for it to be fully integrated with the Regional Council’s GIS platform. To achieve this, Bull’s experts enhanced the existing 2D visualizer with new functionality, to make the most of all the available data from the Council’s different departments. The distributed architecture makes use of state-of-the-art industry-standard practices and technologies: an ArcGis server (ESRI), POstGIS database, the ArcEditor software suite and Flex-based map visualization application. In particular, Bull developed a link between Business Objects and the GIS, enabling the Council to capitalize much more fully on the huge potential of its Business Intelligence system.
“Bull’s ability to bring together the right expertise at the right time is remarkable,” explains Pierre Trilles, Head of the GIS Department at the Languedoc-Roussillon Regional Council. “Even though the company is not a specialist in GIS or natural risks, its experts understood how to translate our business issues into innovative technology solutions. That’s real added value.”
A highly functional, coherent and innovative solution, the ONR now plays a central role in the Languedoc-Roussillon Regional Council’s flood prevention arsenal.