Understanding the Mapping Sequence of Online Volunteers in Disaster Response

Wednesday Sep 28   02:30 PM to 02:50 PM (20 minutes)
Disaster response Crisis mapping Volunteered Geographic Information
In recent years, online volunteers have been actively participating in disaster response, thanks to the advancement of information technologies and the support from humanitarian organizations. One important way in which online volunteers contribute to disaster response is mapping the affected area based on remote sensing imagery. Such online mapping generate up-to-date geographic information which can provide valuable support for the decision making of emergency responders. Typically, the area affected by an disaster is divided into a number of cells using a grid-based tessellation, and each volunteer can select one cell to start the mapping task. While this approach coordinates the efforts from many online volunteers, it is unclear in which sequence these grid cells have been mapped. This sequence is important because it determines when the geographic information within a particular cell will become available to emergency responders, which in turn can directly influence the efficiency of rescue tasks and other relief efforts. In this work, we study three online mapping projects which were deployed and utilized in 2015 Nepal, 2016 Ecuador, and 2016 Japan earthquakes to gain insights into the mapping sequences performed by online volunteers.


University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Assistant Professor