A new geospatial services framework: How disaster preparedness efforts should integrate neogeography

  • Levental S
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Abstract

Geospatial technologies can be used in many intervention stages, from adaptation to disaster relief, and also in disaster response situations. These technological tools have been shown to have a transformative power on the quality and efficacy of response efforts. This paper focuses on the risk reduction phase. This phase is a continuous endeavor aimed at increasing resilience. For example, in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, groups of remotely stationed volunteers remapped Haiti using satellite imagery. Forces on the ground used this imagery to print maps using OpenStreetMap (OSM). Using cell-phone text messages, Short Message Service (SMS) response forces were able to locate and rescue citizens. The Ushahidi platform and OSM created a new paradigm for disaster response in which residents take the lead in operations. Unfortunately, this was able to happen only after the disaster hit. The following paper suggests a roadmap for the integration of crowd-sourcing tools and geospatial collaboration for the disaster preparedness phase. This multitiered proposal connects proper planning processes that engage the community, reduce risk, and ultimately provide for a more resilient community. The paper also aims to take the new disaster response paradigm and use it in the urban planning process. Rather than being a separate process, the disaster preparedness phase should enhance and strengthen communities, resulting in their becoming stronger and more resilient. Geospatial technologies can be used in many intervention stages, from adaptation to disaster relief, and also in disaster response situations. These technological tools have been shown to have a transformative power on the quality and efficacy of response efforts. This paper focuses on the risk reduction phase. This phase is a continuous endeavor aimed at increasing resilience. For example, in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, groups of remotely stationed volunteers remapped Haiti using satellite imagery. Forces on the ground used this imagery to print maps using OpenStreetMap (OSM). Using cell-phone text messages, Short Message Service (SMS) response forces were able to locate and rescue citizens. The Ushahidi platform and OSM created a new paradigm for disaster response in which residents take the lead in operations. Unfortunately, this was able to happen only after the disaster hit. The following paper suggests a roadmap for the integration of crowd-sourcing tools and geospatial collaboration for the disaster preparedness phase. This multitiered proposal connects proper planning processes that engage the community, reduce risk, and ultimately provide for a more resilient community. The paper also aims to take the new disaster response paradigm and use it in the urban planning process. Rather than being a separate process, the disaster preparedness phase should enhance and strengthen communities, resulting in their becoming stronger and more resilient.

Author-supplied keywords

  • disaster preparedness
  • local government
  • neogeography
  • participatory planning
  • urban planning

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Authors

  • Simcha Levental

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