The quick availability of geoinformation can provide many benefits for disaster and risk management related efforts involving floods, earthquakes, cyclones, wildfires and the like. This information often originates from many sources in different locations. To effectively integrate, process and apply this information requires effective decision support capabilities. Experience is now leading toward the creation of 'best practices' and 'decision support tools' that enable quicker, more effective and useful response.
The Joint Board of Geospatial Information Societies (JBGIS) and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)have recently published documentation entitled “Geoinformation for Disaster and Risk Management - Best Practices and Examples.”
This effort includes a number of case study articles for a number of different disaster scenarios. It includes presentations and discussion for these examples. According to UNOOSA's Takao Doi, UN Expert on Space Applications, the publication is a "must-read" for all decision-makers involved in risk and disaster management, as it clearly shows that "those technologies offer little-known and rarely-used solutions that could help us reduce disaster risks and losses and mitigate damages to livelihoods and property associated with disasters".
The Geospatial Information Authority (GSI) in Japan also provides geospatial information related to earthquakes for that country. In October the international conference 'Geoinformation Technology for Natural Disaster Management & Rehabilitation' will be held in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This event will bring together a large number of international leaders involved in disaster and risk management related work who depend upon and use geoinformation daily.
Advancements in remote sensing that often enable the daily provision of valuable earth observation and marine data are proving extremely valuable in these efforts. Meanwhile, the development of GNSS technologies that enable the development of maps and graphics on the ground in these areas are similarly becoming more valuable due to their wireless capabilities - necessary where permanent ground infrastructure may be impacted. Experience around the globe is showing the power and effectiveness for developing 'crowd sourced' information during these events, that helps to provide up-to-date information based on local needs and responses.