Responsiveness, speed and fluid imagery are the top 3 wishes of most Hazus developers or users, alike.
Hazus by FEMA, is the most widely used software application among organizations involved in reliable risk assessments. Hazus forms the basis of a range of risk assessment solutions for mitigation and emergency planning, first response, regulatory policies, usage of public funds and catastrophe modeling.
Powered by Esri products under the hood i.e. ArcGIS , Spatial Analyst for Flood models, Hazus enables geographical analytics on massive GIS data sets pertaining to buildings, infrastructure, population, demographics and landforms.
The combination of ArcGIS and Hazus requires significant computing power and resources, in terms of CPU and storage. The current versions of Hazus with ArcGIS (versions 10.2.x and later) in use are 32/64 bit. The applications are slow with processes running for days together. Coupled with non-informative progress bars, the application remains non-responsive for extended periods of time.
The release announcement of ArcGIS Pro at the Esri International Developer Summit, Palm Springs, CA in March 2014, heralds a new era for the Hazus developer community. We wait with high hopes, in anticipation of the product release!
The most exciting feature to look out for, is the transition to a full 64 bit, multi-threaded architecture that supports multi-core parallel processing. No more unresponsive UI while waiting for flyby. A respite from the single-thread slower versions, modeling multiple scenarios for loss estimation, promises to be faster for very large data sets.
Bundled with a .NET SDK, ArcGIS Pro enables developers to incorporate asynchronous APIs seamlessly. Will the .NET framework simplify coding asynchronous methods? Will these asynchronous methods enable scalable and responsive libraries and applications?
The vibrant Esri product community on GitHub makes the .NET code sharing open and easier. Schema management from inside the application is also a salient point of ArcGIS Pro.
The capability of ArcGIS Pro to work with latest GPUs enables smoother, fluid, visuals without image tearing. The full integration capability of 2D and 3D maps will offer more intuitive and detailed views of estimation scenarios for applications like Hazus. Any change in 2D model will reflect in the 3D counterpart and vice versa.
We will be tuned in to feedback from the Early Adopters Program of ArcGIS Pro for incorporation into Hazus future releases.
(Author: Shweta Katre, Contributions from Nikolay Todorov, Sr. Subject Matter Expert -NiyamIT Hazus Team, FEMA Risk MAP CDS)