A LIFESAVER STARTUP DURING FLOODS
The geospatial technology solutions developed by Strava played a key role in 95 per cent of the flood rescue operations
Kochi: When Jancy Jose from Idukki started her own venture back in 2015 with focus on with Geospatial Technology, Location Intelligence and Cyber Security, little did she know that her startup Strava Technologies would play a crucial role in facilitating the Kerala flood rescue operations.
The Geospatial Technology solutions developed by the startup mentored by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) played a key role in 95 per cent of the rescue operations carried out across Kerala when the State was hit by the worst flood in a century.
Specialising in geospatial technology solutions with built-in drone mapping and location intelligence, Strava Technologies provided the best leverage location-based solution and vital intelligence to the Army, Navy, Indian Air Force, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Coast Guard in carrying out the rescue operations.
Considering the magnitude of the damage and calling for an immediate action plan, Strava’s team started volunteering in the technical forefront and consolidated rescue requests from WhatsApp groups of State officials, non-officials, general public, college students, local area groups, along with Control Room phone calls, SOS messages and the social media.
Further, coordinating with the officials of the State IT Mission, Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA), State Emergency Operations Centre (SEOC) and the Secretariat IT Cell, the Strava team added their Spatial Big Data Analytic platform ‘Cyber Monkey™’ – a Geo Spatial Intelligence System – to compile all the location data.
This solution provided error and duplication-free location data of people who needed emergency assistance. The real-time Geo-Visualization feature of the platform supported the entire team to visually analyse and plan the rescue mission from the State emergency control room.
“On a priority basis, the Defence team wanted to know the key and accurate areas of emergency. By using the Geo-Visualisation feature, the locations popped up on the satellite map, which were used by the rescuers in their mission. If we received more than five requests from a particular location without duplication, we considered that area to be critical and an emergency rescue was called for that area,” said Jancy Jose, Managing Director, Strava Technologies.
"Location is very crucial in the rescue operations as each life is precious. We really appreciate the work done by Strava Technologies in the rescue operation. Cyber Monkey™ helped us achieve our goal on time, and thus saved many lives," said Sanooj, Commander, Indian Navy. Vairav of NDRF and Kavitha, Major, Indian Army, also lauded the services of the startup. The Strava Technologies team worked tirelessly till the evening of August 22 when it learnt that almost all the trapped people were rescued and shifted to relief camps.
However, Strava’s mission has not ended there. The startup is now planning to be part of the rehabilitation programme where it will provide a 3D image of the drone-based mapping in the flood-affected area. Drones will capture the images of the affected areas which will be processed in the lab and handed over to the government. These maps will help the government easily analyse the intensity of the flood and the number of buildings affected, and thereby estimate the total cost of damage.
Geospatial surveys using drones will take lesser time than normal surveys. While a normal survey of one square kilometre (247 acres) takes about three to four months to provide accurate data, drones will capture and provide the data faster. On relatively flat terrains, drones will not take more than five days to complete survey of one square kilometre. However, conducting surveys on higher altitude terrains may require more time.
Cyber Monkey™ transforms the real-time data into meaningful location-based information and delivers solutions that solve complex real-world challenges. The GEOAI (the location-based Artificial Intelligence) – facilitated Cyber Monkey delivers automated spatial decision support for the command and control operations of smart cities, transportation and traffic audit, autonomous vehicles, precision farming, disaster management, smart policing, oil & gas refineries, dam safety audit and so on.
Since Cyber Monkey is customised more into the Fourth Industrial Revolution Space Technology, drones act as a collection medium to assist this platform in creating affordable and accurate geospatial information.
The key facts behind this platform is bringing together massive amount of data, applying spatial big data analytics, and machine learning analytics to fuse the data together and then present that information very quickly in order to drive changes in the sectors.
“Most of my team members worked tirelessly for more than 18 hours daily under the seniormost officers from the State Emergency Operations Centre. News about successful rescue operations was a boost for our team to locate more trapped people. As an entrepreneur from Kerala, this is a proud moment for me and my team in supporting Kerala in the most crucial situation” added Jancy.
Geospatial Technology applications are mainly used for different government sectors. Besides, the company also handles a Cyber Security division 'Strava Cyber Labs' for Cyber Products, Research and Cyber Range Training.