FloodScan: Near real-time and historical flood mapping

AER’s FloodScan service provides daily maps of large-scale, inland flooding from 1998 to the present based on satellite remote sensing technology. FloodScan monitors continent-sized areas for flooding from day and night satellite observations regardless of cloud conditions. Our algorithms combine the latest available data with prior measurements to produce best-estimate, coast-to-coast flood maps every day at ~90-m scale. FloodScan’s regional perspective and daily update cycle often makes it the first service to completely map large floods. Users can track changes in flood extent over time and get a picture of the maximum extent of multi-day floods. Backed by a 20+ year historical record, users can build custom applications and perform analytics with FloodScan data with confidence that future products will be consistently derived using the same proven algorithms.

Features

  • Regional Coverage: Coast-to-coast coverage for Africa, South America, and North America (to 55°N latitude).
  • High Resolution: ~90-meter resolution everywhere. 
  • Frequent Updates: Daily updates for the entire coverage area from automated, near real-time satellite data processing systems.  
  • Historical Reach: Daily record extending back to 1998. 
  • Algorithmic Consistency and Objectivity: Near real-time and historical processing system stability with no human-in-the-loop biases.

Product Suite

FloodScan’s primary data products—SFED and MFED—depict large scale, inland river flooding well but are less likely to depict flooding in smaller floodplains and near coastlines. FloodScan offers secondary products designed to depict flooding in these areas at the risk of higher false positive rates. Additional derivative data products include multi-day compositing, flood depth estimation, and area integration for ease of use and insights into flood severity. FloodScan data packages include all currently available data products for one price, giving users the flexibility to use one or more products at their discretion. The FloodScan Data Users Guide includes guidance for selecting a product set appropriate for any application.

Primary Data Products

Product
Details
Description

SFED

  • Standard flood extent depiction
  • Flooding at ~90-meter scale
  • Updated daily

Designed for flood monitoring applications that prioritize:

  • low false positive rates for large scale flooding
  • algorithmic consistency over long time scales and large regions

MFED

  • Maximum daily flood extent depiction
  • Flooding at ~90-meter scale
  • Updated daily

Designed for disaster response applications that prioritize:

  • timely updates
  • maximum flood extent depiction

 

Secondary Data Products

Product
Details
Description

NDT-SFED

  • SFED without a detection threshold
  • Possible flooding at ~90-meter scale
  • Updated daily
  • For use with SFED/MFED
  • Designed to allow users with resilience to false positives to map possible smaller floods or marginal areas of larger floods excluded by SFED/MFED algorithm noise filtering

NDT-MFED

  • MFED without a detection threshold
  • Possible flooding at ~90-meter scale
  • Updated daily

 

Multi-Day and Area Aggregate Data Products
Derived from MFED or SFED

Product
Details
Description

ACC

Accumulated flood extent over user-specified time period

Combines primary/secondary products and masks into a single dataset for ease of use

NDAYS

Number of days flooded over user-specified time period

Useful as an indicator of flood severity or detection confidence

DEPTH

Maximum flood water depth over user-specified time period

Useful as an indicator of flood severity or detection confidence

AREA

Area aggregate fractional flooding at ~10x10-km scale (daily)

     Use for regional/historical questions, e.g.:

  • locate areas most affected by flooding
  • compute flood return frequency
  • find examples of past floods

 

 

Order FloodScan Data Through the Web Interface (Beta)

Users can conveniently customize a data package for purchase and download through the FloodScan interactive web interface. Registration is free and only requires a valid e-mail address. Use the interface to browse the complete current and historical FloodScan data record.To place a product order, pick a date and activate the selection tool to click-and-drag over an area of interest. Estimated pricing is automatically displayed. Select a file format and click “Place Order”. You’ll receive an e-mail to begin a safe and secure purchasing process through the AER Store. The beta FloodScan interface delivers packages containing SFED products and masks. Check back as more products are added or Contact Us for a custom order.

Pricing

FloodScan products are priced per unit area with no extra cost for multi-day product sets up to 30 days duration. Historical data and the Africa region are sold at reduced prices. Researchers and commercial users interested in large data volumes should Contact AER for pricing.

 

Current Data (<90 days old)*
Historical Data

 

Price per 100 km2

Minimum per order

Price per 100 km2

Minimum per order

Most regions

$1.00

$100

$0.50

$50

Africa

$0.10

$50

$0.025

$25

* Current Data pricing applies unless the selected period is fully historical.

Save Time: Buy Prepackaged Flood Maps

The FloodScan Store offers ready-to-purchase data packages for historically significant flood events including 2017’s Hurricane Harvey and 2018’s Hurricane Florence.

Packages include:

  • Daily primary and secondary FloodScan products in GeoTiff format for the duration of the event
  • Convenient derivative products (ACC, NDAYS, DEPTH) summarizing the full event

Download a free sample FloodScan Package.

Contact AER to request a custom package.

Technical Documentation