GIS aided avalanche warning in Norway
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- NGI articles 
By 2008 detailed avalanche warning for the entire Norway is not available. The Norwegian Meteorological Institute only issues a general warning for large regions of the country for danger level 4 or 5, mainly based on automatic indexes integrated in the meteorological forecasting models. Regional and local avalanche warning are issued by the NGI on request of customers such as the railway or road administration and local communities. The NGI warning projects cover vast areas of several 1000 sq km with a very limited budget, approx. 2 man hours a day. Therefore the workflow has to be extremely efficient from acquiring observation data, evaluation of the situation and sending out the new forecast. It has been an aim to include the entire workflow in an all in one web application. A GIS solution was chosen to integrate all data needed by the forecaster for the avalanche danger evaluation. This interactive system of maps features background information for the entire country such as topographic maps, slope steepness, aspect and hill shade to give a 3D impression of the terrain. In each avalanche warning area, all active avalanche paths are plotted including information on the most wind exposed direction. Each avalanche path is linked to a database generated webpage, which will inform the user on more details on the path, such as fall height, release area elevation, pictures etc. In this way the forecaster easily can get an overview over large areas and can give detailed avalanche warnings to the customer. The system is under constant development and is planned to be completely available on web browser such that no special software is needed on local PCs. Future versions will include interactive access to weather data both as 2D fields as well as time series at selected stations.