A Geospatial Infrastructure to Collect, Evaluate, and Distribute Volunteered Geographic Information for Disaster Management
Recent disasters, such as the 2010 Haiti earthquake, have drawn attention to the potential role of citizens as active information producers. By using location-aware devices such as smartphones to collect geographic information in the form of geo-tagged text, photos, or videos, and sharing this information through online social media, such as Twitter, citizens create Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI). This thesis presents a framework for the effective use of VGI in disaster management platforms. The proposed framework consists of four components: (i) a VGI brokering module, to provide a standard service interface to retrieve VGI from multiple social media streams, (ii) a VGI quality control component, to evaluate spatiotemporal relevance and credibility of VGI, (iii) a VGI publisher module, which uses a service-based delivery mechanism to disseminate VGI, and (iv) a VGI discovery component, which acts like a yellow-pages service to find, browse, and query available VGI datasets. A set of quality metrics specifically designed for VGI evaluation is introduced. This research also presents a prototype implementation including an evaluation with social media data collected during Typhoon Hagupit (i.e., Typhoon Ruby), which hit the Philippines during December 2014. The evaluation results suggest that the proposed framework provides a promising solution towards an effective use of VGI in disaster management platforms. Utilization of the proposed quality metrics on the collected VGI database – with multiple social media stream contributions – will allow disaster response teams to make informed decisions that could save lives, meet basic humanitarian needs earlier, and perhaps limit environmental and economic damage.
Poorazizi, M. E. (2016). A Geospatial Infrastructure to Collect, Evaluate, and Distribute Volunteered Geographic Information for Disaster Management (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca. doi:10.11575/PRISM/24747