GEOG 588
Planning GIS for Emergency Management

Reading Assignment


The readings for this week focus on the fourth component of emergency management, response. You will read a short chapter in your text and two papers that address two contemporary challenges for GIS applied to response actions.

  1. From Geographic Information Systems for Crisis Management Read: Chapter 6 (pp. 187-208)
    Previous readings have focused on how GIS can be used to avoid disasters, mitigate the consequences of events that may happen in the future, and prepare (in those cases where there is warning) a disastrous event that is likely to happen (e.g., a hurricane that exists and has a predicted track and severity). This chapter focuses on how GIS can help in situations where an emergency/crisis is unfolding, and shows how a well-reasoned, timely response can make a difference in the consequences of a disaster.


    What are the key inter-agency coordination issues that should be considered to make a GIS-based response effort successful? How might recent advances in location-based services change the ways in which emergency management professionals and the public interact through geospatial information and technologies to respond to a disaster?

    Please read the Discussion Instructions in the last box below for details on how to complete this assignment.

  2. Read: Guven, G., Ergen, E., Erberik, M.A., Kurc, O., and Birgonul, M.T. 2012. Providing guidance for evacuation during emergencies based on a real-time damage and vulnerability assesment of facilities. Proceedings of the 2012 ASCE International Conference on Computing in Civil Engineering, Clearwater, FL, June 17-20, 586-593.


    This paper describes an approach from the Civil Engineering community to monitor and report on the status of buildings to provide evacuation guidance during an emergency situation.

    What aspects of the proposed model do you think would work well? Are there missing components that you'd want to see considered as well?

    Please read the Discussion Instructions in the last box below for details on how to complete this assignment.

  3. Read: Goetz, M. & Zipf, A. 2012. OpenStreetMap in 3D - Detailed Insights on the Current Situation in Germany. Proceedings of AGILE 2012. Avignon, France, April 24-27.


    There have been 3D geospatial systems around for quite some time to represent the 3D characteristics of landscapes (both manmade and natural) – why are these systems not yet widely available for application in urban emergency management contexts?

    This paper highlights how VGI can contribute to the development of 3D building models. What needs to happen before we could A) obtain complete coverages of areas at risk for disasters and B) before emergency managers can really use such data to augment their response actions?

    Discussion Instructions

    I've left you with lots of choices here to respond to across each of these three prompts - please choose one of them to respond to yourself, and then respond to at least one of your classmates' postings with your reflections and/or pointers to relevant outside resources. Feel free to advance the conversation beyond the starting points I've given you here - the goal, as in previous discussion assignments, is to evolve our conversations and go deeper into these topics together.