Northwest Florida Base Level Engineering (BLE) Data Viewer: Providing Online Access to Complex Data Rich Flood Hazard Information through a Simple Visualization Utility to Support Community Resilience Activities

Justin Bridwell, GISP, CFM, GIS Developer, Dewberry

Base Level Engineering (BLE) flood models for 13 watersheds covering more than 11K square miles of the panhandle was developed for the Northwest Florida Water Management District (NWFWMD). These BLE processes followed large-scale, automated engineering methodologies to produce flood hazard information. The purpose of NWFMWD’s BLE project is to develop updated flood studies using high resolution ground elevations derived from USGS Quality Level 2 (QL2) Lidar data. While this data does not immediately replace a community’s Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), the analysis provides information to support local communities’ determination of a flood elevation defined as the Estimated Base Flood Elevation (estBFE) for flood hazard areas developed from BLE analysis. BLE is a relatively new concept to FEMA and will be a new product for the NWFWMD’s communities.  The BLE viewer will aid in the delivery of BLE data to communities in a simplified and efficient manner in a separate environment from the regulatory products. This data can be used to support floodplain management, development, local engineering projects, and emergency management activities.

This application utilizes the following technologies:

  • ESRI ArcGIS API for Javascript
  • .NET framework
  • Cached and tiled layers to improve rendering speed and user experience.

The Northwest Florida (NWF) BLE Viewer is incorporated into a larger NWF BLE dashboard. The app allows the user to click on a point in the map and view BLE changes and LOMA data, as well as coastal estimations, relative to that location. The users may use this data to create a report as well as extract specified data layers by clipping a portion of the map. The data provided by this application will be extremely valuable in improving accuracy and raising community flood hazard awareness, especially in more rural and outlying coastal areas.


Author Bio

A web developer with a background in GIS, I am always looking to expand my skill set and knowledge of geospatial solutions, applied analysis, and innovative development technologies. Prior to joining Dewberry, I worked as a GIS Applications Engineer and a GIS Analyst. I currently work in the Geospatial Engineering and Applied Analytics group in Fairfax on a variety of Pythonic and Web-based GIS projects.