An assessment of the contribution of volunteered geographic information during recent natural disasters

McDougall, Kevin (2012) An assessment of the contribution of volunteered geographic information during recent natural disasters. In: Spatially enabling government, industry and citizens: research and development perspectives. GSDI Association Press, Needham, MA, United States, pp. 201-214. ISBN 978-0-9852444-0-8

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Abstract

In recent years, improved information communication infrastructure (primarily the internet), the growth publicly available spatially enabled applications (such as Google Earth) and accessible positioning technology (GPS) have combined to enable users from many differing and diverse backgrounds to share geographically referenced information. In an increasingly spatial enabled society, user generated or volunteered geographic information is now becoming the first point of response in the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster. With the prediction of more severe weather events in the coming decades, emergency response personnel must be prepared to react quickly and utilize the latest information and communication technologies where appropriate. Crowd source mapping platforms can be operation in a matter of hours of a natural disaster occurring and can utilize the information provided by citizens on the ground to collect timely and relevant information with respect to the disaster. Information can be contributed through multiple channels to inform others of the impact of the event. This paper examines the growth and development of volunteered geographic information over the recent years. The use of volunteered information and social networking in three natural disasters during 2011 are explored. The timeliness of the responses, the types of information volunteered and the impact of the information during and after the natural disasters are assessed. The relevance of these initiatives to the ongoing development of spatial data infrastructures and their contribution to formal response efforts and authoritative mapping is discussed.


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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Chapter 11 Paper delivered at the Global Geospatial Conference 2012 held in Canada 14-17 May 2012. Authors retain copyright in their work but through the act of submission to this conference are agreeing to a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License for their work to help ensure continued global access to the work over time.
Depositing User: Mr Kevin McDougall
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Surveying and Land Information
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2012 04:41
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2014 01:09
Uncontrolled Keywords: volunteered geographic information; social networking; natural disasters
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0805 Distributed Computing > 080503 Networking and Communications
04 Earth Sciences > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040604 Natural Hazards
09 Engineering > 0909 Geomatic Engineering > 090903 Geospatial Information Systems
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970109 Expanding Knowledge in Engineering
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/21536

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