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CyberEye is an open-source virtual environment that provides a new venue for the study of hurricane impacts and mitigation. The CyberEye environment represents an adaptable framework within which developers can rapidly create collaborative web applications that encapsulate and interface to computational models, while also facilitating heterogeneous, geospatial data exploration. This allows a ready expansion of tools and services (called widgets) available to users within the environment, so that as the state-of-the-art within the research community advances, these assets can be wrapped into the environment. CyberEye adopts a client-server model, where views of the data (applications) are separated from the details of the data storage and organization, employing the web standard Representational State Transfer (REST) as an implementation medium for this Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). This Restful API supports the modular development of widgets to allow CyberEye to readily accept and integrate data and contributions from community members.

Within this virtual environment, users receive a customizable personal dashboard (DB). Registered users can select what modules (termed widgets) will be displayed in their personal dashboards and can control their sizing, placement and arrangement within the web browser. These settings are then retained and retrieved to return this customized dashboard the next time the user logs in. This modular approach to development then allows the menu of widgets to expand with time, as new contributions from the community are easily wrapped and integrated within the platform. The dashboard also is the basis of a collaborative toolset that allows users to explore, share and annotate map data as well as data provided by the widgets, all from within this dashboard environment. Membership permissions additionally allow users to create and manage multiple user groups that can be private (by invitation of the group’s manager) or public (allowing users to request membership). Within defined groups, users can share files and data within their group dashboard, whose available widgets can be customized and configured by the group manager. Finally, the use of open-source GIS in the CyberEye development eliminates the challenge presented by standalone or proprietary risk assessment tools to again encourage greater community contribution and transparency in development.

This dashboard provides access to two distinct workflows: Rapid Risk Assessment (RRA) and Data Intake and Discovery (DID)Rapid Risk Assessment has a variety of applications both in developing general emergency management and response plans, and more importantly in dynamically updating specific plans in the event of a landfilling hurricane. The Hakou prototype that backs the RRA was developed specifically for use by emergency response managers in Hawaii and was later adopted by the Pacific Disaster Center as a tool to guide recommendations in such situations where information about wave heights and projected inundation due to surge is vital as the agency issues evacuations, manages near shore infrastructure, and stages emergency response assets. Meanwhile, post-disaster field reconnaissance represents one of the most valuable data sources to enhance resilience; however, these activities are often poorly coordinated with multiple parties executing independent surveys using different data gathering instruments and no centralized repository for that data nor tools to aid in its curation and discovery. CyberEye’s Data Intake and Discovery workflow responds to this need by providing a flexible means to curate, visualize and query observations and data associated with hurricanes. 

Recommended Reading

Kijewski-Correa, T. L., Fernando, H. J. S., A. Kareem, A., Kennedy, A. B., Khandelwal, K., Taflanidis, A. A., and J.J. Westerink, J. J. (2012). "CYBER-EYE: Integrated Cyber-Infrastructure to Support Hurricane Risk-Assessment." Advances in Hurricane Engineering: Learning From Our Past. Proceedings of the 2012 ATC & SEI Conference on Advances in Hurricane Engineering, October 24-26, Miami, FL.

Kijewski-Correa, T., Smith, N., Taflanidis, A., Krusche, M., Liu, C., Vardeman, C., and Kennedy, A. (2013). "CYBER-EYE: Development of Integrated Cyber-Infrastructure to Support Rapid Hurricane Risk-Assessment." Proc. 12th Americas Conf. on Wind Eng., June 16-20, Seattle, WA.