Before The landfall of Hurricane Irma and near landfall of Hurricane Maria on Sint Maarten and the rest of the Caribbean in 2017, Infinite Observations, a technology and information company founded and owned by Mr. Wladimir Kruythoff, a sint-maartener who studied and worked in The Netherlands, was busy developing a geospatial data collection and visualization environment named ZineQx (pronounced Zi-Nex).
On April 4th 2019 Mr. Wladimir Kruythoff gave a presentation of a prototype of this software at The Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary of St. Maarten, The Hague, The Netherlands. The presentation was named “Macro-Economic Implications of Increase Re-occurrence, Intensity and Duration of Hurricanes in the Caribbean Due to Climate Change”, which touched on the relationship of climate change and increase social, human, economic and political consequences for small island developing states (SIDs), namely Caribbean islands. Later in that year Mr. Wladimir Kruythoff gave a follow-up presentation to Mr. Claret Conner, the present, director of the National Recovery Program Bureau (NRPB) on Sint Maarten during his working visit to the Netherlands in July of 2019 along with other distinguished guests from the WorldBank and the NRPB.
From the 23rd through 27th October 2019 Mr. Wladimir Kruythoff CEO of Infinite Observations visited Sint Maarten/Saint-Martin in combination with the Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) SMILE event 2019. During that visit he presented a prototype of the Infinite Observations’ ZineQx Geospatial Visualization Environment that can be used for many purposes, including hurricane forecasting, simulations, housing assessments and improvements, communication, macro-economic, meteorology, noise polution (traffic and aircraft), air (traffic) & water quality (marine vessels), land and wind, infrastructure plans and sustainability reports, applications for building permits, and engineering, to the Parliament of Sint Maarten, again to Mr. Claret Conner director of the NRPB, to Mr. Clive Richardson Fire Chief & National Disaster Coordinator for Emergency Operations Center (EOC) of Sint Maarten and Le président de la collectivité territoriale de Saint-Martin Mr. Daniel Gibbs.
After his visit to the island and because of the surge of COVID-19 during 2020. Mr. Wladimir Kruythoff had some contact with Mr. Clive Richardson Fire Chief & National Disaster Coordinator for Emergency Operations Center (EOC) of Sint Maarten. However, seeing the many challenges the island faces (and many Caribbean island face) with the lack of data, the topic of the implementations of this ZineQx Data Collection & Geospatial Visualization Environment has come to the forefront again. In many instances from retail, services and consumer pricing control on the island, to housing assessment, rental prices, land-use management, environmental health and safety tracking, energy & utility, the distribution of food packages during the COVID-19 lockdown. The topic of data collection and its use for policy and decision making by those in governmental, semi-governmental, NGO organizations on the island continues to play a vital role and the lack of it continues to be the Achilles heel of sustainable development on the island.
The ombudsman of Sint Maarten Ms. Gwendolien Mossel detailed in her report “Home Repair: A Revelation of A Social Crisis” of 2019 (see http://www.ombudsmansxm.com/newsdetails.php?nid=156 ) the slow reconstruction of the island. This was in part due to the lack of housing damage assessment, monitoring and management after hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. In the article of January 2021 “World Bank: 5 Keys To Improving Living Conditions On Sint Maarten” it again becomes clear that “little data” or the lack of it is an impediment for sustainable improvements on the island, (see https://www.sxm-talks.com/local-news/world-bank-5-keys-to-improving-living-conditions-on-st-maarten/?fbclid=IwAR0XnWZ4aAf34ltsZN3BSFdSO3_lpfkviA7I6ZhalJa4MMvibgkf_AuM3sk ).
Below it can be seen how the ZineQx platform by Infinite Observations can be implemented to filter data that can be collected using the software to visualize and the filtered information based on various attributes, such as district, street name, house number, household size, rental price or number of autos, or at the person level, such as gender, age or employment status. Flood damage can be assessed using elevation data of the island. The implementation can increase the pace of damage assessment after hurricane impact to the island and the rebuilding process.
The ZineQx geospatial visualization software can be implemented under the NRPB’s Digital Government Transformation Project that is ongoing. With the acquisition of this software the population of Sint Maarten will be better prepared to deal with natural disaster assessments as a consequence of climate change.