ICT and Disaster Management


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Lounge lecture given on ICT usage and disaster management at De La Salle Univeristy, Manila on Saturday, 18 June 2011

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  • Gathering the information                              Surveys                              Crowdsourcing (via SMS, Twitter, etc.)  --  Every person is a sensor.                              Bounded Crowdsourcing (Al-Jazeera coverage of Gaza in Ushahidi)                              Mechanical Turks                                   Gamification
  • Gathering the information                              Surveys                              Crowdsourcing (via SMS, Twitter, etc.)  --  Every person is a sensor.                              Bounded Crowdsourcing (Al-Jazeera coverage of Gaza in Ushahidi)                              Mechanical Turks                                   Gamification
  • ICT and Disaster Management

    1. 1. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) AND DISASTER MANAGEMENT <ul><li>David Merrick, Center for Disaster Risk Policy </li></ul>
    2. 2. What is ICT? <ul><li>Information and Communication Technology (ICT) reflects the convergence of internet , mobile , and traditional media technology. </li></ul><ul><li>These technologies have created new ways to transmit, gather, and analyze information, which is changing the world we live in. </li></ul><ul><li>As ICT networks grow, and terrorist organizations usage of these networks and channels grow, the utility of these networks will increase. </li></ul><ul><li>Metcalfe’s Law states… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>… The utility of a network is proportional to the square of the number of nodes on the network. </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Disintermediation <ul><li>ICTs allow for communication disintermediation . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information no longer flows as: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>EVENT -> ORG -> MEDIA -> PUBLIC </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Through disintermediation, info now flows directly from person to person. Organizations can participate in disseminating information directly to the population. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By enabling many-to-many communication, ICTs reduce the importance of the media for distributing messages. </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. EMIS…. <ul><li>Emergency Management Information System </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“An information system designed to collect, analyze, and share information in support of emergency management activities.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>EMIS Systems can be either custom developed or COTS (commercial off the shelf software) </li></ul>
    5. 5. EMIS Architecture <ul><li>Client / Server Relationship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Each user/client workstation connects to a centralized server (or cluster). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data is stored primarily on the servers. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mesh Networks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Data is stored on each client workstation, synchronized between all workstations when changes are made. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Redundant storage provides a more robust ‘offline’ mode. </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. COTS EMIS Examples <ul><li>Client / Server </li></ul><ul><ul><li>WebEOC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E-Team </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mesh Architecture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Microsoft Groove / SharePoint Workspace </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. EMIS Capabilities <ul><li>EMIS should provide: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Common Operating Picture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Geospatial Data Visualization (GIS Integration) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Linkages or integration with Remote Sensor Data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cameras </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Aerial photography </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resource Tracking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Critical Infrastructure Tracking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personnel / Team Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Duty Rosters, Sign in logs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mission Tracking or Action Planning </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Common Operating Picture <ul><li>&quot;A common operating picture is established and maintained by the gathering, collating, synthesizing, and disseminating of incident information to all appropriate parties involved in an incident. Achieving a common operating picture allows on−scene and off−scene personnel to have the same information about the incident, including the availability and location of resources, personnel, and the status of requests for assistance. Additionally, a common operating picture offers an overview of an incident thereby providing incident information which enables the Incident Commander (IC), Unified Command (UC), and supporting agencies and organizations to make effective, consistent, and timely decisions. In order to maintain situational awareness, communications and incident information must be updated continually.” </li></ul><ul><li>- NIMS definition </li></ul>
    9. 9. Interoperability <ul><li>Interoperability is critical in our info-centric environments. </li></ul><ul><li>Information systems must be able to easily exchange quality data. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Components of data quality: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Accuracy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Completeness </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Timeliness </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Consistency </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Data versus Information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information is comprised of sorted, analyzed and processed data. </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Interoperability <ul><li>FEMA IPAWS Open – Open Platform for Emergency Networks </li></ul><ul><li>OASIS – International community dedicated to expanding interoperability between information systems. </li></ul><ul><li>EDXL – Emergency Data Exchange Language </li></ul><ul><ul><li>XML (Xtensible Markup Language) based format designed to streamline data exchange between systems. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>EMIS that are capable of EDXL transfers are, in thoery, interoperable. </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Geospatial Systems <ul><li>GIS… does everyone know what this is (in the broadest terms)? </li></ul><ul><li>Google Maps </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The first to bring quality mapping systems to the masses with a well documents Application Programming Interface (API). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows for extensible usage… beyond what Google originally envisioned. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://map.floridadisaster.org/GATOR/index.html </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.oes.ca.gov/WebPage/oeswebsite.nsf/InteractiveMap?readform </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Mapping Meets Social Media <ul><li>Foursquare </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook Places </li></ul><ul><li>Google Buzz / Google Latitude </li></ul>
    13. 13. Crowdsourcing <ul><li>Crowdsourcing is defined as outsourcing work to an open community (a crowd) asking for contributions. </li></ul><ul><li>Can be effective in solving social problems. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul><ul><ul><li>iStockPhoto </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Challenge.gov </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://challenge.gov/challenges/87/submissions/2077-before-the-storm </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://challenge.gov/challenges/87/submissions/1157-keep-it-under-wraps </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://challenge.gov/challenges/87/submissions/1394-femapp-mobile-applications-for-fema-employees-and-the-public-utilizing-gps </li></ul></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Loqi.me <ul><li>Crowdsourcing meets mapping…. </li></ul><ul><li> http://loqi.me </li></ul>
    15. 15. Crisis Mapping <ul><li>Crisis mapping is a relatively new concept/application, designed to disintermediate geospatial information during a crisis or disaster. </li></ul><ul><li>Started by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) in roughly 2008. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples include Google Earth .KML files, Ushahidi, Loqi.me. </li></ul>
    16. 16. Ushahidi <ul><li>Open source crisis mapping platform, mashup of SMS, Twitter and Google Maps. </li></ul><ul><li>Can be deployed locally on a completely open source stack, or is available for free on the internet at http://crowdmap.org </li></ul><ul><li>Developed by Kenyan bloggers in response to the January 2008 unrest following elections in Kenya. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Name means ‘witness’ in Swahili. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Has been deployed for humanitarian crises around the world, as well as post disaster. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Haiti earthquake, Japan earthquake, violence in Chad and Sudan, Egyptian uprising, Libyan unrest. </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Three Key Concepts of Crisis Mapping <ul><li>Information Collection or Sourcing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sources of information may include… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional surveys / field observations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Crowdsourcing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile data collection - SMS, Twitter, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Every Person is a Sensor” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bounded Crowdsourcing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Limit the target population by parameters. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Example is the Al Jazeera crisis map of the Gaza conflicts. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Three Key Concepts of Crisis Mapping <ul><li>Information Collection or Sourcing, continued </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Data Verification can be troublesome. How do you know the crowd is passing quality data? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Location verification, Person/Profile verification, multi-source verification. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Swift River is a new product designed to automate this process somewhat. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mechanical Turks may be useful to quickly verify information. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Gamification” may provide incentives for increased Turk output. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Scores, Leaderboards, etc. based on output. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Three Key Concepts of Crisis Mapping <ul><li>Visualization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Display gathered information in a coherent way on a map. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This is not new to cartographers and GIS experts, but current technology makes it possible for anyone to display geospatial data. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Open source and freely available tools make this step straightforward. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Three Key Concepts of Crisis Mapping <ul><li>Analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Analysis is extracting information and patterns from the map.   </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Once again, this is not a new process, but is now able to happen faster, based on near real time data. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This has advantages – more useful information faster. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>But also disadvantages – remember issues with data quality. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Too Many Maps? <ul><li>While tools like Loqi.me and Ushahidi are wonderful ‘grassroots’ tools, but how do they interact with other EMIS? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Short answer… not very well. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If the public is using one set of crowdsourced data and information, and EM officials are using another, what does that do to the Common Operating Picture? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How can this be overcome? </li></ul></ul>