Crush Uncertainty with GeoPDF®

Crush Uncertainty with GeoPDF®

In every aspect of business, the importance of delineating risk and uncertainty is essential. While both are always around us, the way we can deal with them is entirely different. Risk arises when we know the chance of all outcomes of a given situation, while this is not the case when uncertainty peeps around the corner. The crucial difference being that risk can be managed, while this is much more difficult for uncertainty.

As a postgraduate environmental economics student, the ongoing debate around this topic is obviously familiar to me. Some say we need different models to address uncertainty, others say this is an impossible feat. The main consensus being that it is impossible to fully account for uncertainty outside of the axioms we set ourselves. After reading numerous papers a day, I am quite often left feeling that we should also be striving towards more practical solutions.

This is where GeoPDF is able to transform uncertainty into data, resulting in informed decisions. From the free to download GeoPDF Gallery, I found a flood risk map that perfectly illustrates this topic. The interactive GeoPDF shows the floodprone coast from Chyandour Brook to Marazion, in the United Kingdom. The map is interactive in the sense that users can toggle parameters that are key in explaining flood hazards, after which actual risks are calculated. This calculation is based on the exposure within the affected area, with the properties at risk being shown in the top right.

Using the GeoPDF format, users are able to layer the main determinants of flood risk for any given area and visualize it in a split second. Besides, visualizing these vast amounts of data takes minimal storage when comprised in a GeoPDF map. Using the GeoPDF Toolbar, I was able to calculate the build area that is under the greatest risk when looking at a specific flooding scenario. I can then turn these polygons into GeoMarks and add notes to them. By doing so, users of the GeoPDF toolbar can collectively become aware and crush uncertainty, using solely free software.

Crush uncertainty, with GeoPDF!