At CSIRO Data61, we see the primary challenges being accessibility to data, the interoperability of datasets and platforms, and the insights derived from big data. Through technologies and capability within CSIRO, we take a holistic approach to addressing climate risk. In this context, we have developed INDRA; a platform technology with climate change, hazard and vulnerability related inputs from various parts of CSIRO along with key data inputs from relevant agencies such as the Bureau of Meteorology and State and City based planning departments.

INDRA is a geospatially enabled big data analytics platform that allows the integration of a range of relevant datasets including climate, natural hazards, infrastructure, demographics and economic metrics to provide data driven critical insights. It is cloud enabled and can be accessed via any of the leading cloud providers and hosted on the web for ease of use and interoperability with other relevant tools. INDRA has been used by cities and utilities to understand their infrastructure risk and to plan for future adaptation, mitigation and financial de-risking strategies.

Key challenges and INDRA advantages:

Accessibility to and transparency of data

It can be difficult to gain access to relevant datasets and communicate them in a meaningful and relevant manner. CSIRO and Data61 have comprehensive climate projection data for the whole of Australia and for a diverse range of future climate scenarios. These are easily ingestible and communicated through a visualisation engine integrated with INDRA. The engine also allows for customised analytics, visualisation and reporting based on client needs.

Due to the federated nature of the data ingestion process within INDRA users are able to easily verify the source of the data and can analyse the outputs with trust. Users are also able to bring in their own datasets into the INDRA engine.

INDRA has a strong history of development with applications related to bushfires, floods (catchment and coastal), erosion and groundwater risks across all levels of government, multiple agencies and corporate partners. As a result, the team at CSIRO has access to a range of related relevant datasets through our partnerships with the BoM, state based environmental and land management agencies such as DELWP, QRA, QFES and INSW as well as from Universities wherever relevant.

By visualising and analysing these datasets in a common, federated platform, the end user will be able to understand the data landscape and have greater transparency and insight to the modelling and analytics process.

Interoperability of Data

A big challenge when considering climate change impacts is the interoperability of data. Data in this space varies in magnitude, granularity and format. As such, we’ve endeavoured to build INDRA as an interoperable, data agnostic platform allowing the user to process large amounts of spatially enabled data quickly and intuitively using our GPU enabled parallel processing infrastructure. Producing outputs such as scenario modelling for climate change impacts (bushfire, flood, soil movement, groundwater etc.), INDRA will allow clients to understand the potential impacts and threats of physical risk, stress test as well as model different scenarios to understand the efficacy of mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Generally, INDRA is also an application agnostic platform in considering the range of climate change risks and related hazards, so it can be adaptable and scaleable as new data, hazards, and meteorological situations arise. This will assist clients in future proofing against the threats of uncertainties associated with climate change and hazards data, but also provide granular insight as to how to plan new infrastructure or protect existing assets through a data driven approach.

Magnitude of Data and Relevant Insights

INDRA has the ability to process large amounts of geospatial data quickly to extract customised insights. INDRA can be used for stress testing, scenario analysis and hot-spotting of risk areas given future changes in climate and related hazard conditions.

The INDRA analytics and visualisation platform can also be used to develop custom integrated products for the client which is easily accessible on the web and hosted on the cloud, meaning infinitely scaleable both in terms of geography but also in terms of international applications. We are currently trialling applications of INDRA in the Pacific Island Nations, United States and Chile.

Relevant CSIRO links to INDRA include the downscaled climate change related datasets developed by our partners in CSIRO Oceans & Atmospheres:

Climate Change in Australia

and downstream hazard modelling capabilities being developed in CSIRO Data61:

Natural Hazards and Infrastructure Initiative

Customisable Complex Analytics

Users are able to use the INDRA “Equation Builder” as well as the INDRA “Simulator” to develop custom data layers for complex domain focussed analytics. This advanced feature is especially advantageous in circumstances where pre-computed climate change related data may not be fit-for-purpose for certain end-use applications or if users require the flexibility to derive their own scenarios for stress testing purposes.