Crowdsource mapping: UN-SPIDER talks at AGIT2014 conference

UN-SPIDER participated in the 2014 session of AGIT "Geospatial Innovation for Society", a three day conference for the international geoinformatics community. It took place from 2 to 4 July 2014, in Salzburg, Austria and brought together over 1000 participants and 60 expositions.

UN-SPIDER's expert contributed to the session "Disaster Management 2.0 and natural Hazards" organized by the GIScience Research Group of the Institute of Geography of Heidelberg and Z_GIS at the University of Salzburg. The presentation focused on the collaboration of UN-SPIDER and the Crowdsourcing Community in order to improve disaster management and the generation and sharing of information.

Following the presentations, the panelists of the session discussed the use of crowdsourced data and information in the context of disasters and disaster risks. The experts shared views on the involved costs, the organisation of collaboration between crowdsourcing actors and the disaster community and the issue of quality of the data. The experts furthermore made the point that crowdsourced data can and should also be used for disaster risk management, not only for emergency response. They also highlighted that with today's communication technologies the expectations of citizens of their country's disaster management has changed. There is a growing need for real-time information shared via a variety of channels and publicly shared maps. Crowdsourced information can help meet these expectations and needs.

Crowdsourcing was also mentioned in other sessions of the conference, for example in the session "Citizen Science and Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI)", which dealt with research approaches to measure the quality of VGI as well as about the improvement of global land use and land cover maps through VGI. OpenStreetMap furthermore organized a special forum on licensing crowdsourced data.

UN-SPIDER's presentation is available for download. Additionally, two articles summarizing the presentation's main points (in German) are available online in the conference proceedings and magazine.