Using Google Earth & Wikimapia to Analyze Hazard Risks in Geography Charlene Sharpe Rutgers Geography May 15, 2014 Integrate Workshop - FAU

  • View

  • Download

Embed Size (px)


Using Google Earth & Wikimapia to Analyze hazard risks in Geography

Using Google Earth & Wikimapia to Analyze Hazard Risks in GeographyCharlene SharpeRutgers GeographyMay 15, 2014Integrate Workshop - FAUWhy this activity?

Tools ActivityThe goal of this exercise is two- fold:-

a. To assess how the concepts of risk, resilience, hazard and vulnerability are applied to a real life event

b. To ascertain the usefulness of employing specific web based (open source) technologies to assess damages and predict risk in urban areas .Summary

Students will use the tools available in Google Earth and Wikimapia to assess hazards risks/disasters and resilience in urban settings.

Using ONE case study city, chosen from New Orleans USA, (Katrina 2005) OR Port-au-Prince, Haiti (earthquake 2010),students will work in pairs to complete this five (5) steps exercise analyzing the evidence of hazards that is obtainable from aerial photographs contained in the popular Web-based sources Google Earth and Wikimapia, and assess its utility in predicting risk and assessing resilience and damage in comparison to other sources of non-visible or non-material information that are available to researchers. Students will also develop a "photo-scaling tool" to visually analyze their resultsTime SliderGoogle Earth has a time slider that allows for the acquisition of past imagery over a 10-year periodHelpful in assessing exposure see growth of shanty towns, changes in land use, so on

Wikimapia uploaded photos

Planimeter measure roof damage, area impacted, so on

Concernsthe quality, cost and availability of imageshistorical imagery are not usually readily available to assist with analysis or to be used as baseline data.Low resolution and heavy cloud cover comprise usability of satellite imageriesImpediments to data-sharingLack of interoperability of some software

Concerns about data security and accuracyLack of user trainingGoogle earth is but one component depend on other components which might be absent thus limiting its usefulness

VISUAL INDICATORSTrack resource movementAvailability of food, hospitals, etcWhere help is neededWhere street signs are missing etcProvocative questionsStudy spatial development of these risks and for the differential vulnerability of structures within shantytowns and urban areas For example, would it have been better to have concentrated housing improvement programs on the people who build the more substantial but still fragile homes on hill slopes than on the abjectly flimsy homes located on flat areas?In not sharing data readily and in an open source mode what are the implications for secrecy and transparency and for social justice dimensions of hazards, disasters, resilience?