For many years, the inter-cantonal early warning and crisis information system IFKIS was synonymous with software relating to snow and avalanches. Dating back to 2001, the application had become antiquated. As its successor, the SLFPro project is gradually providing a new home for the various components of IFKIS. It is also replacing the analysis software used to date by the avalanche warning service of the SLF.
SLFPro is not only transitioning the old applications to a modern format and an advanced architecture, but also eliminating outdated structures through harmonisation. All the feedback channels and databases are being brought together in SLFPro, for example, and the feedback parameters are being standardised.
SLFPro is thus emerging as a central tool for all those who work in the field of snow and avalanches. It fully satisfies the daily needs of the SLF observers and safety authorities in most situations. As a progressive web application, SLFPro can run on a PC, tablet or smartphone.
User interface for SLF observers and local safety authorities
The user interface of SLFPro is the SLFPro Workbench. It is available in German, French, Italian and English. The SLFPro Workbench allows users to send measurements, observations, avalanche danger assessments and photos (see Figure 1).
The SLFPro Workbench also offers multiple views for data visualisation and analysis purposes. In these views, data recorded in SLFPro are shown as soon as they are entered (see Figure 2). Data from other sources, such as automatic stations, or slope profiles are presented as well. New views are being developed continuously.
Developments in the pipeline include modules for use by safety authorities when assessing the danger to which transportation routes or buildings are exposed, and for documenting response measures. By way of these and similar advances, more of the former IFKIS components are being replaced.
Also being created alongside the user-facing elements are a new user administration regime, interfaces for managing and compensating the SLF observers and for managing measuring sites, and various data access services.
Working in the field
SLFPro provides an answer to the persistent call of SLF observers, safety authorities and avalanche warning services for a tool that can be used in the field. It is a progressive web app, so that its user interface adapts to suit the size of the screen on which it is displayed. Provided that a mobile network is within reach, this allows feedback and data analyses to be transmitted and performed by users as they move around. The work of the SLF observers and local safety authorities takes place largely outdoors, and their feedback to the avalanche warning services, and access to the most recent data, are often time-critical. SLFPro addresses these needs by allowing many operations to be performed directly in the field.
The SLFPro project was launched in late 2017 under the leadership of Ueli Niederer. Together with Renata Müller, Csilla Szántó and later also Stephan Estermann, he developed the first release, which was successfully introduced at the beginning of winter 2019/20. We would like to thank Ueli very much for his extraordinary achievements as project manager in the first part of this project.
Afterwards the position of a full-time project manager was created. Until this position was definitely filled in February 2020, Stephan Estermann took over the project management on an interim basis. Stephan also deserves a big thank you! Since then the project has been managed by Marco Minder. Ueli Niederer, Csilla Szántó, Stephan Estermann, Karl Gärtner and Edwin Cox contributed to the second release for Winter 20/21.
2017 - 2021