Patterns of Geographical Content Contributions Made by the General Public in Response to Natural Disaster Events




Parker, Stephanie M

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This thesis explores the updating patterns of Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) in the direct aftermath of natural disasters. OpenStreetMap edits and GDELT reports are studied to explore the location, scope and types of features of such geospatial content contributions, comparing them to the impact of the events under study. The two disasters used for the study included the Moore Tornado in May 2013 and Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013. OpenStreetMap edits and GDELT reports were extracted and queried to answer the respective research questions. Our analysis shows specific patterns regarding each event separately, as well as overarching patterns regarding crowdsourced content. We observe that news reports (in the form of GDLET entries) provide initial indicators of the geographic location and extent of a natural disaster at a coarse resolution. VGI contributions are then emerging to provide a more detailed description of the scope and extent of the disaster impact area. VGI sourced data provides an insight into the infrastructure and locations regarded as either important or areas of greatest



Volunteer geographic information, Ambient geospatial information, Natural disaster, Crowd sourced content