Davao developer creates mobile app for Project Noah

A Davao-based developer who recently won a Smart Communications-sponsored contest is getting a rare chance to have his app promoted and used widely after Smart partnered with the government to launch his winning entry as the official mobile app for the DOST’s Project Noah website.

Rolly Rulete, main developer of the Noah app, during the launch

“Noah” or the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards is a disaster mitigation program developed by DOST in partnership with the University of the Philippines.

The Philippines’ warning agencies, namely, Pagasa and Philvolcs and other collaborating DOST agencies such as the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (Asti) and the Science and Technology Information Institute (STII) are also in the forefront of the DOST’s Project Noah.

The DOST’s Project Noah mobile app would initially be available for Android devices such as smartphones and tablet computers.

The prototype of the mobile version was originally done in HTML5. It was developed by Rolly Rulete, along with his teammates Pablito Veroy and Jay Albano during the first HTML5 Hackathon organized by the Smart Developer Network in Davao City. The prototype won the “Best Use of Smart APls”.

“We chose Rolly Rulete to develop the official mobile version of the DOST’s Project Noah website for Android devices because we want Davao and Mindanao to be represented in the nationwide effort to mitigate disasters,” said DOST secretary Mario Montejo.

“Participation of all Filipinos in the effort is very important because it increases their stake in the solution to the problem. With better awareness, you have more reason to prepare against the impacts of hazards,” added Montejo.

“We are optimizing the use of technology and connectivity as tools to build the country’s capabilities for disaster preparedness and mitigation,” said Ramon Isberto, Smart Public Affairs head.

The DOST Infoboard was also launched during the event. The Infoboard service is Smart’s Web-based text broadcast facility that helps manage dissemination and gathering of weather and disaster-related reports within the DOST community.

The Infoboard, powered by Smart, has already been made available to other government agencies, flood-prone communities, as well as schools and universities all over the country.

The Flood Patrol, an Android mobile-based application developed by the Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center (AJWCC), also had its public debut during the Noah mobile app launch. It extends the flood monitoring and flood mapping service of DOST’s Project Noah.

The flood reporting tool is part of the Philippine Flood Hazards Map website found at www.nababaha.com. The Web interface allows users to report flood data, which includes the location, date, time, flood height and comments. Users may choose to identify themselves or report anonymously.

In similar fashion, Flood Patrol allows citizens to report floods in their areas. At the same time, users can also view existing flood reports based on historical inputs.

In addition, the mobile version allows users to take a picture of the flooding in their area. These pictures are stored in the web server for access by proper authorities.

The reports coming from the web and mobile applications are used as crowdsourcing data for flood analysis and disaster management.

To support the DOST’s Project Noah, Smart and sister-firm Sun Cellular will allow DOST to install automated rain gauges in 600 of their cell sites in target river basin systems.

Smart network services are also being used to transmit pertinent weather data for analysis and formulation of DOST’s grand flood warning system.

Together with the Corporate Network for Disaster Response (CNDR), Smart is also providing trainings to local officials and residents of Marikina, Dumaguete, Bacolod and Cagayan De Oro in formulating contingency plans and organizing flood drills.

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