Monday, February 05, 2018

Drowning Berlin

The Island of Berlin is an attempt to visualize how Berlin could be effected by rising sea levels. The visualization provides a dramatic (if not exactly accurate) model of how global warming could effect Berlin.

The Island of Berlin uses WebGL to create a 3D model of Berlin. The model depicts Berlin as surrounded by a vast sea. Using the slide control you can raise the level of this sea to view which areas of Berlin would remain above water at different sea levels.

Obviously Berlin is not on the top of a mountain. It therefore does not have a significantly higher elevation than the area surrounding the city. The Island of Berlin therefore does create an overly dramatic visualization. Under most models of rising sea levels Berlin will not end up an island surrounded by a vast sea. Therefore this type of visualization would work a lot better using an actual island, for example Reunion Island.

Hans Hack's map of Berlin was inspired by Nicolas Durou's Maquette. Maquette is a WebGL 3D model of Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. This 3D model also allows you to adjust sea levels to visualize how the island could be effected by global warming. The Maquette model includes a population layer which is able to provide an estimation of the number of people on the island who would be effected by different levels of rising seas.

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