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Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 2:00 PM


VERRUCCI, Enrica1, ADAMS, Beverley J.2 and ROSSETTO, Tiziana1, (1)CIVIL and ENVIRONMENTAL Engineering, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom, (2)ImageCat LTD, Communications House 63 Woodfield Lane, Ashtead, KT21 2BT, United Kingdom,

Since the 1990’s, unprecedented progress in technology has greatly favoured the rapid diffusion of GI science in diverse application areas. Numerous studies in the literature prove the distinct benefits of application and integration of advanced technology, such as remote sensing and geographical information systems (GIS), in emergency management.

This has led to active research in by scientific experts and practitioners in the optimisation of such technologies for use in the early phases of post- disaster response and throughout recovery activities. Today, the high level of expectation of emergency managers and practitioners towards these technologies typically translates into three key issues: rapid access to timely shared and up-to-date information, interoperability and standardization, and community participation.

This paper describes in detail an innovative Web-GIS platform designed to foster interoperability within GIS and non-GIS users: the Virtual Disaster Viewer (VDV).

Developed after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, through a multidisciplinary collaboration between MCEER, EERI and EEFIT, it was originally designed to aid post-disaster field mission planning, data interchange, and expert knowledge sharing. Since 2008 it has been successfully used for other disaster events including earthquakes in Aquila (Italy) in 2009, Chile in 2010 Sumatra in 2010.

Pioneering features of this platform are: volunteer experts offering multi-disciplinary knowledge, a repository of GPS referenced ground – truth data (photographs and video) collected during field missions by different organizations and the standardization of data according to a specially designed damage scale. In recognition of the importance of community participation, the VDV platform has recently been extended and used to offer help in coordinating aid delivery to the Haitian population after the 2010 January earthquake. The GEO-CAN (Global Earth Observation - Catastrophe Assessment Network ) community, formed by thousands of expert from different backgrounds and countries collaborated in the initiative. This paper presents VDV and describes its evolution from a tool for post-earthquake field mission assistance into one for use in disaster relief resource allocation.

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