Lengsdorf · The geo-competence team of the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance finds answers to many questions in connection with spatial data plans. The interactive maps are of particular help to politicians and authorities.
It could be corona, high water or even a forest fire. The Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BKK) does everything possible to take into account existing and conceivable crisis situations. In five buildings on Provinzialstraße, the BKK shares around 15,000 square metres with the Technical Relief Agency (THW), which is also located there. Of the nearly 400 employees (about 100 of whom live in Bonn), about 80 work in the BKK Academy for Crisis Management, Emergency Planning and Civil Defence (AKNZ) in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler. For about half a year now, 13 permanent and project-related geographers, computer scientists and one environmental scientist have been working as a geo-competence team in a three-year project phase.
The combination of the terms geo-information and competence already describes the team's task of preparing geodata in a targeted manner for information and decision-making, with which spatially related questions can be answered. With this spatial reference, a wide variety of information can be linked together and new insights can be generated.
"It's all about creating added value through intelligent links," says Jakob Rehbach, Deputy Project Manager of the GKT. Thus, an up-to-date Corona map not only compares the case numbers of the districts with each other and shows the available intensive care beds, but can also be related to different population data.
The geo-competence team answers questions in case of emergency
What is a threat to people, animals or infrastructure in a particular area? What can be done to reduce the intensity of an event or minimise the probability of damage occurring? Where are forces and means available to exert a positive influence on the situation? Questions which, in their bundling and presentation, are the task of the geo-competence team. The GKT creates products and analyses from different data sources and makes them available, for example, as interactive maps for authorities and politics.
In the event of floods or forest fires, for example, not only is the spread of the flood or forest fire recorded, but location-based socio-demographic data, buildings or assets can also be called up, thus providing information from a wide range of aspects in the event of a crisis. If the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency together with the German Weather Service calculates plausible scenarios for a storm surge on the German North Sea coast, other authorities can use the GKT maps to carry out analyses for their work. In the event of a disaster, it can be helpful to get answers to questions such as: "How many people over the age of 65 are currently living in the danger zone?" or "How many residential and commercial buildings are located in the damaged area?", or "What areas are potentially suitable for the construction of a care facility for 500 people, or what vital and defence-related infrastructure would be potentially affected if the situation were to deteriorate?
The geo-competence team has tools and aids at its disposal to understand and illustrate the world and the interactions between man, his environment and other factors. Project manager Susanne Lenz sums it up with a simple formula: The GKT tasks focus on the illustration of a "where", combined with the "who, how, what" to answer the "why, wherefore, for what reason".
Original text: Stefan Hermes
Translation: Mareike Graepel