From Victims to Sensors: An Overview of PPGIS Applications in Emergency Planning and Management

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The term public participation geographic information systems (PPGIS) was born National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA), meaning to bring GIS technology to a local level in order to increase the data access and allow stakeholders to participate in the knowledge building and decision making process. With the growing popularity of personal computers and electronic personal devises, the contribution from public via the internet has also grown significantly based on the appearance of volunteered geography information (VGI). With the lack of immediate authoritative data, it has applied increasingly to emergency response as citizen became the sensors to report the unknown situations at the disaster area. With the growing amount of sensing and new information source, to what extent PPGIS has engaged in the planning process and changed the ways we defined data and knowledge in emergency planning and management is the core inquiry of this research. This paper takes an overview of the development of PPGIS applications in emergency management mostly in the United States, identifying its roles and functions in the four steps of emergency management mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery- in relationship to types of disaster and level of participation. A classification of PPGIS applications in emergency management is established through reviews of existing literatures, professional magazines and websites. This paper will facilitate further understanding of PPGIS, its trend, and identify new possibility in emergency management from the perspective of spatial planning discipline.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Definite Space – Fuzzy Responsibility, Prague, 13-16th July, 2015
Public Participation, Emergency Planning, Volunteer Geographic Information
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