Ushahidi and Sahana Eden Open-Source Platforms to Assist Disaster Relief: Geospatial Components and Capabilities
In responses to recent large-scale disaster events, huge amount of ground information have been collected in addition to the synoptic views from satellite images. Different platforms have been in place to facilitate the collection and management of such critical location-based information from the crowd. This study investigated the current implementation of geospatial components and their capabilities in open-source platforms, particularly Ushahidi and Sahana Eden. Using the 2011 Christchurch earthquake data and following the four main functions of a geo-info system: Data input, Geospatial analysis, Data management, and Visualization, the performance of geospatial-components were evaluated by a group of users. The result showed that with rich visualization on interactive map both Sahana Eden and Ushahidi enable emergency managers to track the needs of disaster-affected people. While Ushahidi can only filter incidents records by time or category, geospatial data management of Sahana Eden is proven to be more powerful, allowing emergency managers input different geospatial data such as incidents, organizations, human resource, warehouses, hospitals, shelters, assets, and projects and visualizing all of these features on a map. It also helps to simplify the coordination among aids agencies. However, geospatial analysis is the limitation of both platforms. The findings recommended that data input with more variety of formats and more geospatial analysis functions should be added. Further research will expand to more case studies taking into account the requirements of disaster management practitioners and emergency responders.
KeywordsDisaster Management Disaster Relief Geospatial Data Indian Ocean Tsunami Geospatial Analysis
This research was inspired by the continually significant contributions of Ushahidi and Sahana Eden developers and users in development and deployment these great platforms to assist the disaster relief efforts. The authors appreciate the useful comments by two anonymous reviewers that help to improve the manuscript.
- Anahi A (2011) Ushahidi guide. http://community.ushahidi.com/uploads/documents/Ushahidi-Manual_4.pdf. Accessed 03 Feb 2012
- Australian New Zealand American Association of Minnesota (ANZAA) (2011) Christchurch earthquake information resource. http://anzaa.com/2011/02/christchurch-earthquake-information-resources. Accessed 25 March 2012
- Cuny FC (1983) Disasters and development. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Gravley D (2001) Risk, hazard, and disaster. http://homepages.uc.edu/~huffwd/Volcanic_HazardRisk/Gravley.pdf. Accessed 01 March 2012
- Goodchild MF, Glennon AJ (2010) Crowdsourcing geographic information for disaster response: a research frontier. Int J Digit Earth 1:1–11Google Scholar
- Heinzelman J, Waters C (2010) Crowdsourcing crisis information in disaster-affected Haiti. USIP Special Report. (www.usip.org)
- Johnson R (2000) GIS technology for disasters and emergency management. http://www.geo.umass.edu/courses/geo250/disastermgmt.pdf. Accessed 01 March 2012
- Sahana Software Foundation (2011) Annual Report, http://wiki.sahanafoundation.org/lib/exe/fetch.php/foundation:ssf_2011_annual_report.pdf. Accessed 31 July 2012
- Stryker T, Jones B (2009) Disaster response and the international charter program. Photogram Eng Remote Sens 75:1342–1344Google Scholar
- Turner A (2006) Introduction to neogeography. O’Reilly Media, SebastopolGoogle Scholar
- United States Geological Survey (USGS) (2012) Historic world earthquake. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/world/historical.php. Accessed 16 April 2012
- Vu TT (2013) Geospatial technology uses in post-disaster response—the power of the crowd. Disaster Adv 6(4):1–3Google Scholar