HxGN BLOGArticle

Weathering the storm with sustainable solutions and high-precision technology

How putting data to work protects our cities and decreases the impact of climate change.

For decades, countries around the world have been monitoring our ever-changing climate. Global temperatures are on the rise, ice sheets are shrinking, and natural disasters are increasing in volume and intensity. These phenomena are changing the way people live their everyday lives, and our world’s natural resources like water, energy sources, wildlife, and agriculture are seeing a direct impact as well.

“The next 30 years are crucial if we’re to address the world’s sustainability risks,” said Ola Rollén, Hexagon President and CEO, in a recent blog post. “To avoid the most serious effects of CO2 emissions and climate change, a tectonic shift is necessary — now.”

According to the United States Geological Survey, North America will continue to experience heatwaves for longer durations, while Europe will be at a much greater risk of inland flash floods and more frequent coastal flooding.

Instrumental, high-precision technology provides reliable data and resources to aid in identifying sustainable solutions that address these issues. For example, a workshop that teaches geographic information system (GIS) users how combining sophisticated imagery and data (property value, percentage of damage) could provide a faster way to assess damage during a major event.

Researchers have also begun to pay closer attention to places like Greenland, which is covered by a massive ice sheet that represents roughly 80% of its surface, making it vulnerable to climate change. If glaciers continue to break off from the ice sheet and end up melting, the sea levels will rise and displace millions of people all over the planet. With the help of technology from Leica Geosystems, part of Hexagon, researchers have been able to collect data on the speed of a glacier’s melt flow and the effects brought on by melting.

“Participating in a geodetic expedition crossing Greenland’s ice sheet early in my career, I experienced firsthand the beauty and vitality of such natural materials and the critical need to protect these environmental resources,” said Juergen Dold, President, GSI, Hexagon. “With Hexagon’s advanced geospatial technology to monitor, analyse and visualise changes on our planet, we enable environmental researchers and other professionals studying these phenomena to find solutions and overcome the challenges our planet faces.”

As surface temperatures and the intensity of storms increase, optimisation and innovation of disaster management and monitoring technology are critical to understand, control, and perhaps even reverse the effects of climate change. Here are a few of the ways you will see Hexagon’s technology in action, proactively preparing for global sustainability:

  • Providing the right tools to support public safety agencies that are easy to use and accessible. Technology like GIS will help improve operations for police, fire, EMS, and all first responders by using instrumental data to manage emergency calls during a crisis.
  • Creating data-driven mapping software as an important source in helping to anticipate and manage the spread of wildfires during months with drier weather and higher temperatures. We can use algorithms that help predict the likelihood of a fire by inputting soil and vegetation moisture data that provide a visual map displaying areas of concern.
  • Using 3D scanning technology to help researchers further understand the impacts of climate change globally.
  • Collecting and sharing helpful information with communities including road damage, tornado spotting, shelter locations, and flooding during natural disaster events.

We are fortunate to live in a world where technology has been able to elevate almost every facet of human life. While the battle is nowhere near being won, sustainable solutions based on high-precision technology will continue to allow us to help support the health and long-term well-being of our planet.

Rebecca Paul-Martin

Rebecca Paul-Martin is the Corporate Communications Specialist for Hexagon AB, supporting public relations, content creation, and corporate programs. Rebecca has 10 years of experience in public relations, communications and marketing, with a strong background in retail, non-profit, and higher education. She holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree from Southeastern University and is based in Atlanta.