Internet users can now find the elevation of anywhere in the nation with the mere click of a mouse, thanks to the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI).
The agency introduced a website this month to test out the service, which will enable people to check the elevation of the land around their homes to prepare for a possible tsunami or flood.
"Knowing how many meters above sea level you live at changes how you'll respond to a tsunami or flood," said Yutaka Kosuge, who heads the GSI's geographical information division. "We'd like people to refer to this basic data when thinking about escape routes."
The system makes it easier for users to find the elevation without having to figure out topographical map contour lines.
When you click on the map on the computer screen, the system calculates that location's elevation based on the elevation measured for the four nearest points. However, the GSI says that in some cases it may be difficult for the system to match actual elevation due to drastic variations in local elevation and other factors. It recommends that users consider the results as approximations.
Check it out at: (http://saigai.gsi.go.jp/2012demwork/checkheight/index.html)
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