SME universe | Geosapiens extends its flood model to Canada

Geosapiens’ flood mapping model spills over into the rest of Canada. The small Quebec business launched on 1er February its new pan-Canadian flood risk modeling tool.

The model produces maps that show the extent of flooding for a given scenario. Its precision even allows it to establish the probability and importance of the loss for a specific property.

“It’s an interactive map,” says Hachem Agili, president and CEO of Geosapiens. You can do an address search and then obtain the information or the level of risk associated with this property. »

A first version covering Quebec was launched at the beginning of the fall.

“There, we extend our geographic coverage across all of Canada,” he describes.

“We are also the only and first Canadian company to offer this type of product. »

The sources

Geosapiens was not born recently. The company finds its source in the work carried out by a team of researchers from INRS, who began working on flood modeling after the historic flood of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu in 2011.

Founded in 2017 by a group of seven researchers, Geosapiens first launched the E-NUNDATION web platform in 2021, which produces forecast mapping of floods in Quebec. E-NUNDATION assesses the impacts of the disaster on the population, buildings, road network and essential infrastructure to help authorities plan and direct their interventions.

The new platform does not meet the same needs. “These are maps for risk assessment and not for managing emergencies,” explains Hachem Agili.

“For each stream, river and lake across Canada, we are able to assess the risk, that is to say the probability of being flooded and the potential depth, for a property, for example. »

Geosapiens has around ten employees, some of whom are based in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. No, it was not by covering the territory with theodolites that they carried out their mapping.

“There is no work done on the ground to take measures,” confirms the president. We started with already existing data, especially very high resolution topography data produced by the federal government. »

They added climatic, hydrological and land use data.

“With approaches based on geomatics, artificial intelligence and statistical analyses, we were able to create this flood model,” continues Hachem Agili. “The challenge was to obtain a coherent model on a large scale, therefore to have a methodology that works everywhere on a national scale. »

The model covers Canada from coast to coast (themselves taken into account for coastal flood risks), including rural and agricultural areas.

“The northern territories are not yet done, they are in production currently, but under 60e At the same time, all of Canada is covered,” he explains.

Some precisions

The Geosapiens model allows it to produce maps of flood zones “with unprecedented precision”, maintains Hachem Agili.

Its rare international competitors have developed and calibrated their models on a global scale to then apply them regionally. Geosapiens worked in the opposite direction, by modeling each territory locally.

“Our model offers an accuracy of one meter in the most urbanized areas, compared to already existing models which are 30 meters accurate across Canada,” he argues.

In other words, the Geosapiens model can assess the risk and significance of flooding every meter rather than every 30 meters.

“Over 30 meters, we often cover several properties,” he says. It’s not precise enough. »

For this reason, existing models are not able to distinguish certain properties where the risk of flooding is reduced.

Geosapiens’ high-precision model will allow insurers to assess the financial risk or potential damage for a given property.

“From this information, the insurance company is able to generate an insurance premium for flood coverage. »

Canada today, tomorrow…

A service subscription providing access to the system is offered in the form of a web portal or programming interface that connects the model to customers’ computer systems.

The pan-Canadian Geosapiens model comes at the right time, believes Hachem Agili.

“Many initiatives are underway on the government side, at the provincial and federal level, to achieve this result. With our solution, we support these initiatives and also the insurance industry, which has a great need for data firstly, but also for reliability and precision of data associated with flooding. »

Without claiming to flood the North American market with its technology, Geosapiens still has continental ambitions.

“We will soon start working in new territories, notably the United States,” informs its president. “Even in the United States, there is no product equivalent today to what we offer in Canada. »

Geosapiens next plans to turn its attention to Europe, Asia and Africa.

“We have ambitions for expansion because the problem is global,” he says. Flooding represents the most frequent and damaging natural disaster on the planet. »

Doyon Després expands into Ontario


Michel-Luc St-Pierre, president and CEO of Doyon Després, at the gates of Paradis du chef, in Ottawa, which he has just acquired.

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My Technician takes the safe


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Proxima Group acquired by French company Setec Eocen


Maxime Fournier, president of Gestion Proxima, Anne-Marie Choho, general manager of setec, and Stéphane Chardon, general manager of setec eocen, during the signing of the agreement between the two companies, January 23, 2024

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