Crowdsource mapping for disaster management by Dr Charlotte Vye-Brown

Last week BGS was in Vienna at the UN for a three-day international expert meeting on ‘Crowdsource mapping for disaster risk management and emergency response’.

What is crowdsourcing?
It is a process that involves gaining data from a distributed group of people and translating the real-time information into maps to assist in disaster management. For example, during flood events people could contribute photos, water heights, the extent of flooding or road closures to a central body to improve the abundance of data about the event and assist in the response to help those affected.
A group of 81 experts representing:  crowdsource mapping networks, researchers,
humanitarian aid groups, space agencies and UN organisations attended the meeting.
Our vulnerability to natural hazards is increasing due in part to population growth, reliance on infrastructure, and climate change. So, the potential for disasters is also increasing and more people than ever are vulnerable to hazards. Crowdsource mapping is one way that communities can contribute data and add value in real-time to satellite data that is used during an emergency to reduce the impact of an event. We see increasing use of social media and tweeting, e.g. during the Japan earthquake and tsunami in 2011, that contain vital information about an event. This meeting brought together the communities involved in space-based information for disaster and risk management to exchange ideas and establish networks to increase the use of this valuable information in the future.
Charlotte Vye-Brown (Volcanologist)

See how Charlotte and her colleagues use crowdsource mapping (and citizen science) during volcanic eruptions. During the 2010 Eyjafjallajokull and the 2011 Grimsvötn eruption this data proved invaluable and helped not only researchers from BGS but many UK universities and the MET Office.

We'll be following this post with more information about all crowdsource opportunities and future initiatives but for now see our crowdmap and find out more about citizen science! Lauren


nmtoken said…
Great to see crowdsourcing being presented at the UN. BGS is also working on crowdsourcing in other areas of science and the community and recently presented two papers at the AGI GeoCommunity 2012 on some of this work.