Given steep terrain, frequent seismic activity, and torrential rains from typhoons, Taiwan is susceptible to large-scale and devastating debris flows and landslides. To address this considerable problem, and particularly the issue of loss of life and property, the Soil and Water Conservation Bureau teamed with Feng Chia University to develop debris flow monitoring stations that harness the Open Geospatial Consortium Sensor Web Enablement (SWE) suite of standards.
To date, 17 fixed debris flow monitoring stations have been installed over the island and two mobile debris flow monitoring stations have been created to mobilize and deploy to areas that become susceptible to disaster. The mesh networks of geospatially registered sensors includes sensors to measure soil moisture, pressure, motion, as well as images. The stations feed reading to a central monitoring platform with real time analysis of energy variation as well as an alert mechanism to move people out of harms way.
The OGC Sensor Web Enablement (SWE) suite of standards are made up of four major services — Sensor Observation Service (SOS), Sensor Planning Service (SPS), Web Notification Service (WNS), and Sensor Alert Service (SAS). All sensor data is described in XML formats and uses Simple Object Access protocol (SOAP) to provide communicability between individual sensors and the aggregating system.
The Sensor Observation Service (SOS) was completed for the network in 2009, with ongoing work being done to develop SAS (Sensor Alert Service) and SPS (Sensor Planning Service). There is also ongoing work to integrate many kinds of observation resources from different organizations (such as governments, disaster prevention organizations…etc) in Taiwan, and to enhance the efficiency of decision making in disaster mitigation via the debris flow information platform.