Manila, Philippines — The Disaster Risk Assessment, Exposure and Mitigation-Light Ranging and Detection technology (DREAM-LiDAR) 3D mapping project of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) won the prestigious Geospatial World Excellence in Policy Implementation Award for 2014.
Science and Technology Secretary Mario Go Montejo and DREAM program leader Dr. Enrico Paringit received the award on May 8 in Geneva, Switzerland.
DREAM is one of nine components of the Nationwide Operational Assessment for Hazards (Project NOAH). The Geospatial World Magazine owned by Geospatial Media and Communications (formerly GIS Development) conferred the 2014 Geospatial World Excellence in Policy Implementation Award to DREAM during a gala dinner in one of Geneva’s five-star hotels.
On its website (www.http://awards.geospatialmedia.net/), it was learned the geospatial magazine “has been conferring the awards and recognition for exemplary innovations and practices in the global geospatial industry. These are the Geospatial Application Excellence Awards; the Geospatial Technology Innovation Awards; and the Geospatial World Excellence in Policy Implementation Awards, which was won by DREAM.
NOAH is the state-of-the-art flood and storm surge early warning system developed by Filipino scientists and engineers under the aegis of the DOST and implemented by the University of the Philippines (UP).
In an email to the Manila Bulletin from Geneva, Paringit said the award for DREAM was one of the five given for policy category. He said he was excited to receive the award, adding it is for all the members of the DOST-NOAH-DREAM Team, composed mostly of young men and women engineers and scientists. He received the award with Montejo.
Paringit cited the Philippines’ effort towards disaster mitigation using science and technology. “The award goes to show that the international community acknowledges our local capability-building efforts to attain self-sufficiency when it comes to dealing with natural hazards and disasters,” he said. He added that the international recognition will serve as an inspiration to the “DREAMers” of NOAH and be “inspired to do their best in delivering timely and relevant information.”
Dr. Mahar Lagmay, executive director and lead driver of Project NOAH, welcomed the recognition bestowed on DREAM. He said it is a recognition of the hard work of the men and women behind NOAH/DREAM which will drive them do even better.
Lagmay said the international award also serves “as an assurance that we are doing our work. It gives us motivation to work better.”
DREAM-LiDAR technology gathered high-resolution, 3D images of the country’s 18 major river basins, which were turned into maps that identify hazards in a particular community. With an expanded and extended mandate until 2016 with an infusion of additional P1.4-billion budget from the national government, DREAM started taking topographic images of the rest of the country’s minor rivers, mostly tributaries of the 18 major rivers.
Used abroad, LiDAR technology was introduced in the Philippines only in 2012 through NOAH’s DREAM. Two LiDAR devices were mounted on re-configured and rented Cessna planes being used to capture the 3D images.
This article was originally published in the Yahoo Philippines website on 12 May 2014.