For the public to gain a deeper understanding of the impacts caused by natural disasters on humanity and life, the National Applied Research Laboratories (NARL) integrated the R&D specialties and the technological achievements of the NCHC and other NARL’s research centers, and collaborated with the National Museum of Natural Science (NMNS) to organize a special exhibition --“The Changing Earth and Disaster Prevention Technologies.” The exhibition included static displays of disaster prevention technologies from NARL’s research centers, the “Looking at Earth from Taiwan” program at the SOS Theater, and the 3D documentary film on the Typhoon Morakot disaster. The purposes of this exhibition were to make people understand that the Earth was constantly changing, and to enhance the public’s awareness of natural disasters.
Natural Disaster Simulations and Supercomputers
The static displays of the NARL disaster prevention technologies primarily focused on the natural disasters caused by earth changes, including earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, typhoons, and floods. On the display, the NARL introduced the state-of-the-art disaster prevention technologies starting with the wisdom of ancestors. The ancient methods of weather forecasting have been gradually replaced by the computer simulations nowadays. Thus, in order to make people understand the roles played by supercomputers in natural disasters and disaster prevention technologies, the NCHC particularly exhibited supercomputer-related knowledge and rare physical models. “Supercomputer” refers to a powerful, extremely fast-computing, and large-scale computer. It is capable of accomplishing a massive number of complex calculations in a very short timeframe. For an ordinary PC instead, it would require one thousand or tens of thousands times longer to complete. Because it takes a tremendous amount of time to do satellite image processing, weather computing, climate model calculations, and tsunami simulations, the expeditious operations of a supercomputer would be able to assist in disaster prevention, disaster rescue, and rapid forewarnings.
The NCHC's exhibition: knowing about the NCHC and supercomputer models
3D Film of The Typhoon Morakot Disaster: Truthfully Recording Taiwan’s Natural Disaster under The Changing Global Climate
The massive rainfall brought by Typhoon Morakot led to one of the most catastrophic disasters in recent years. For the public to profoundly realize the power of nature’s wrath and the impact of natural disasters on humanity and life, this particular exhibition at the Space Theater in NMNS played the 3D film, “Typhoon Morakot Disaster,” co-produced by NCHC and NSPO. The 3D images in the film were the results of materials developed and provided by the NCHC and NSPO. Those materials included comparative analysis of the 3D satellite images before and after disaster and small-scale, high-resolution 3D photos taken at the disaster scenes. By using the visualization, people can understand the seriousness of the disaster and educate the next generation on how to cherish the land where we were born and raised and on how to protect Taiwan’s environment. Moreover, these precious 3D data and materials of historical events will continue to be on display at the NMNS, serving as the best educational materials for popular science.
The NCHC displayed the processed 3D images of Xiao-Lin village before and after typhoon Morakot.
Our Land and Our Home Need Our Cherishing and Care
Since the Industrial Revolution, technology has advanced constantly, but with more and more destructive acts against nature, the backlash from the nature is also getting stronger. Whether the recent natural disasters are the results of global climate change or earthquakes, the causes could be traced to the ever changing Earth. Our land and our home need our cherishing and care. After the display at NMNS, this special exhibition, “The Changing Earth and Disaster Prevention Technologies,” will be relocated to the 921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan and the Museum of Natural History for other exhibitions. Through this display, we hope that people can know further about our country’s disaster prevention and forewarning technologies and can learn to understand, observe, and guard against the nature disasters while coexisting with nature peacefully.
About The Project -- 3D GIS Taiwan
Observation technology and simulation analysis play important roles in disaster prevention and forewarning technologies. In addition to providing supercomputing resources for simulation uses, NCHC also takes part in NARL’s integrated project, “Research on the Development of High-Resolution, 3D Demonstration Platform for Environmental Observation”. The NCHC constructed a digital 3D web-GIS platform for earth observation to integrate the observed data from academia, research, and government sectors. Those data, including NSPO’s satellite images, NCDR’s maps for flood warning zones, CWB’s typhoon radar data, building footprints and transportation routes provided by the Center for Space and Remote Sensing Research at NCU, aerial photos from the Aerial Survey Office, Forestry Bureau, WRA’s water level monitoring images of rivers and reservoirs, and photos from field investigations, could be demonstrated in 3D through the NCHC’s 3D VR Engine technology. Through this platform, various simulations or observation image data concerning natural disasters can be demonstrated to aid the presentation and the evaluation of disaster forecasting performance and to reinforce our country’s real-time response capability in the face of a disaster.