Virtual reality brings flood risk to life

The GRI Director, Professor Matthew Wilson, has been awarded funding from an EQC Biennial grant. The project called “virtually flooded” has been developed in partnership with leaders from Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu (TRoNT) and has been featured  in a recent TechWeek EQC article entitled, “Tech-savvy scientists are helping New Zealanders prepare for natural hazards.”

This project aims to explore whether VR could bring the risk of flooding to life for communities, spurring action to prepare for and manage future events.

The article talks about how flood risk is normally portrayed in 2D flood models, which are often hard to interpret. Wilson says, “What excites me about VR is its ability to break down barriers of communication by providing an immersive understanding of risk.”

The project’s plan is to turn existing 2D flood models of flood-prone sites into interactive VR flood visualisations, with the hope of finding out if it helps people understand flood risk better.

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