Informational System and Geomatics Department

INCDDD interest in the use of information technology in the environmental field starts from 1986, when there were made more databases in fisheries, habitats, plants, birds. Since 1990 this interest has increased and some softwares were developed by DDNI (e.g. software for assessing fish stocks, another one for LIDAR data processing, WebGIS applications).

Considering that DDNI is a multidisciplinary research institute which does research in Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve (DDBR), a complex area from several points of view (environmental, social and economic), Geographic Information System (GIS) was seen as a very useful tool for understanding the phenomena and interactions from the area. Between 1992-1993 DDNI has developed its own software having most of the features of a GIS for flora and fauna inventory in DDBR.

Gains experience and visibility

The first commercial GIS software (PC / ArcInfo) that DDNI used in 1993 to produce the first GIS map of Romania (“Danube Delta” Vegetation Map). The next GIS product was the soil map for the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, map that in 1994 received the Technical Award for Cartography (Vereninging voor Nederlandse KARTOGRAFIA Cartography Technical Award) awarded by the Royal Dutch Society of Cartography.

After a training in GIS and Remote Sensing at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst USA in 1996, DDNI staff started using satellite images in order to creat thematic maps. This expertise was used in 1998-2000 to produce “Danube Delta” Biosphere Reserve Romania-Ukraine Trans border Vegetation Map where information provided by experts, Romanians and Ukrainians, on vegetation have been supplemented with information from satellite images.

Becoming an expert

Quality expertise in remote sensing has been recognized internationally by DDNI involvement in several projects funded by Wetland International in Africa (1999-2006) and Russian Federation (2004).

The need to link several specialists from many fields to meet a very complex task such as setting up the Natura 2000 network for Romania, led since 2005 to develop expertise in SQL databases and achieving interfaces web client SQL Server database. In several projects the web interface, the database structure and functionality as much as analysis modules that were developed to meet user requests became the national database for Natura 2000 network of protected areas. Since 2008 DDNI developed software modules to generate DTM using LIDAR data from various sources. Using these modules was produced DTM model for all Romanian Danube including DDBR meadow. To make these data available on the web, it has been developed a data visualization WebGIS application using Open Source products.

Building up the portfolio

As a result of bilateral agreements between DDNI, Delft Hydraulics and RIZA Netherlands since 1992 it has been developed the hydraulic model of the Danube Delta. The specialized hydraulic software used in modelling was Sobek. The first project in which the hydraulic modelling was used is “Ecological restoration in the region Dunavăţ-Dranov” (1996). The first version of the hydraulic model of the Danube Delta was elaborated in 1997. The model was then updated in the project “Ecological gradients in the Danube Delta lakes, Present states and man-induced changes” Dutch-Romanian project running from 1997 to 2000 and used to necessary hydrotechnical projects scenarios in the Danube Delta (channels recalibration, blocking channels, new channels opening, spillways) and the ecological reconstruction.

Achieving the goals

In 2006 it was shaped the hydraulic model of the Danube within the “Ecological and Economical Resizing of the Danube Floodplain – REELD”. In 2009 Danube hydraulic model was updated by 2D processing and LIDAR data in order to elaborate flood hazard and risk maps within the “Stakeholder oriented flood risk assessment for the Danube floodplains -Danube Flood risk” INTERREG IV B project.

Since 2007 the 3D modelling was used (3D mathematical Delft / hydraulic model, the product of DELTARES, Hydraulic Systems Delft, The Netherlands) of delta’s hydrographical system within the project MORFDD (under the Ministry of Education). Climate change leads to more frequent and strong floods, thus it became a request for a more precise floods modelling. Danube hydraulic modelling with a digital terrain model (DTM) ensure the required precision for the flood prediction.

Geomatics and Information System Department includes several informal collectives such as: Information System, numerical modelling and Geomatics.

In the past four years, teams of this department carried out more than 20 projects for the generation of digital maps for biodiversity, ecosystems and hydraulic modelling, bathymetric studies, software applications for DDBR and Romania.