CitSci as a New Approach for Landslide Researches

  • Sultan Kocaman
  • Candan GokceogluEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series (LNGC)


Landslide is a commonly and frequently observed disaster on the Earth both spatially and temporally. The landslide researches mainly aim at characterizing and understanding this process and the earth dynamics, and predicting their occurrence based on triggering factors, their spatial and temporal dimension, thus assess the hazard potential; and estimating the risks which they cause on the economy, environment, and lives. Due to the great variety and amount of data included in this field, it is crucial to form complete landslide databases both at regional level and worldwide. The main aim of this assessment is to bring new insights to the landslide data acquisition aspect by different users. The need of accurate and reliable geodata collection by ordinary people is inevitable for ensuring sufficient spatiotemporal density and distribution, thus forming extensive landslide databases and simulating and planning the future. With the developments in geoinformation technologies, as well as the transforming power of information and communication technologies (ICT) on the society, it became possible to use the citizen science (CitSci) methods in many scientific fields. It has as well enormous potential in landslide data collection, validation and interpretation, and thus contribute to landslide researches. In this review, the uncertainties lead by missing data and affecting quality of regional landslide assessments are discussed, and the potential of citizen science in landslide researches is described. The role of volunteer data is portrayed with specific examples from the literature. The levels of citizen contribution are depicted accordingly.


  1. Aleotti P, Chowdhury R (1999) Landslide hazard assessment: summary review and new perspectives. Bull Eng Geol Env 58:21–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Berman G (1995) Landslides on the Panama Canal. In: Miller RL, Escalante G, Reinemund JA, Bergin MJ (eds) Energy and mineral potential of the central American-Caribbean region. Circum-Pacific Council for Energy and Mineral Resources Earth Science Series, vol 16. Springer, HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
  3. Can T, Duman TY, Emre O, Alkan M (1999) Investigation of earthflows occurred in May 1998 in the western Black Sea region. In: Proceedings of 3rd national symposium on landslides, 13–15 May, Cukurova University, Adana, p. 7 (in Turkish)Google Scholar
  4. Can T, Nefeslioglu HA, Gokceoglu C, Sonmez H, Duman TY (2005) Susceptibility assessments of shallow earth flows triggered by heavy rainfall at three catchments by logistic regression analyses. Geomorph 72:250–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Coleman D, Georgiadou Y, Labonte J (2009) Volunteered Geographic Information: the nature and motivation of producers. Int J Spat Data Infrastr Res 4:332–358Google Scholar
  6. Cutter SL, Ismail-Zadeh A, Alcantara-Ayala I, Altan O, Baker DN, Briceño S, Gupta H, Holloway A, Johnston D, McBean GA, Ogawa Y, Paton D, Porio E, Silbereisen RK, Takeuchi K, Valsecchi GB, Vogel C, Wu G (2015) Global risks: Pool knowledge to stem losses from disasters. Nature 522:277–279. Scholar
  7. Firehock K, West J (1995) A brief history of volunteer biological water monitoring using macroinvertebrates. J North Am Benthol Soc 14(1):197–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Foster C, Pennington CVL, Culshaw MG et al (2012) The national landslide database of Great Britain: development, evolution and applications. Env Earth Sci 66:941–953. Scholar
  9. Gokceoglu C, Sezer E (2009) A statistical assessment on international landslide literature (1945–2008). Landslides 6:345–351. Scholar
  10. Gokceoglu C, Sonmez H, Nefeslioglu HA, Duman TY, Can T (2005) The 17 March 2005 Kuzulu landslide (Sivas, Turkey) and landslide-susceptibility map of its near vicinity. Eng Geo 81:65–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Goodchild M (2007) Citizens as sensors: the world of volunteered geography. GeoJournal 69:211–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Grahn T, Jaldell H (2017) Assessment of data availability for the development of landslide fatality curves. Landslides 14:1113–1126. Scholar
  13. Haklay M (2013) Citizen science and volunteered geographic information: overview and typology of participation. In: Crowdsourcing geographic knowledge, pp 105–122. Springer, Dordrecht. Scholar
  14. Haworth B, Bruce E (2015) A review of volunteered geographic information for disaster management. Geogr Compass 9:237–250. Scholar
  15. Holderness T, Turpin E (2017) assessing the role of social media for civic co-management during monsoon flooding in Jakarta, Indonesia. White Paper. SMART Infrastructure Facility, University of Wollongong ISBN: 978-1-74128-249-8)Google Scholar
  16. Hollenstein L, Purves R (2014) Exploring place through user-generated content: using Flickr tags to describe city cores. J Spatial Inf Sci 1:21–48Google Scholar
  17. Hutchinson JN (1995) Landslide hazard assessment. In: Proceedings of VI International symposium on landslides, Christchurch, vol 1, pp 1805–1842Google Scholar
  18. Jaeger D, Kreuzer T, Wilde M, Bemm S, Terhorst B (2018) A spatial database for landslides in Northern Bavana: a methodological approach. Geomorph 306:283–291. Scholar
  19. JTC-1 Joint Technical Committee on Landslides and Engineered Slopes (2008) Guidelines for landslide susceptibility, hazard and risk zoning, for land use planning. Eng Geo 103:85–98Google Scholar
  20. Keefer DK, Wieczorek GF, Harp EL, Tuel DH (1978) Preliminary assessment of seismically induced landslide susceptibility. In: Proceedings of 2nd international conference on microzonation for safer construction—research and application, San Francisco, Nov 1976, pp 279–290Google Scholar
  21. Kocaman S, Anbaroglu B, Gokceoglu C, Altan O (2018) A review on citizen science (CitSci) applications for disaster management. Int Arch Photog Rem Sens Spatial Inf Sci XLII-3/W4: 301–306.
  22. Lacasse S, Nadim F, Kalsnes B (2010) Living with landslide risk. Geotech Eng J SEAGS & AGSSEA 41:4Google Scholar
  23. Lewis QW, Park E (2018) Volunteered geographic videos in physical geography: data mining from YouTube. Ann Am Assoc Geogr 108(1):52–70. Scholar
  24. Liang WT, Lee JC, Chen KH, Hsiao NC (2017) Citizen earthquake science in Taiwan: From science to Hazard mitigation. J Disaster Res 12(6):1174–1181. Scholar
  25. Loew S, Gschwind S, Gischig V, Keller-Signer A, Valenti G (2017) Monitoring and early warning of the 2012 Preonzo catastrophic rockslope failure. Landslides 14:141. Scholar
  26. Masaba S, Mungai DN, Isabirye M, Nsubuga H (2017) Implementation of landslide disaster risk reduction policy in Uganda. Int J Disaster Risk Reduct 24:326–331. Scholar
  27. Montello DR, Goodchild MF, Gottsegen J, Fohl P (2003) Where’s downtown? Behavioral methods for determining referents of vague spatial queries. Spatial Cog Comp 3(2–3):185–204. Scholar
  28. National Climate Assessment Report (2011) Climate change impacts and responses. NCA Report Series, vol. 5c, April 28–29, Washington D.C., USAGoogle Scholar
  29. NASA Landslide Reporter (2018). Accessed 21 Aug 2018
  30. Nefeslioglu HA, Gokceoglu C (2011) Probabilistic risk assessment in medium scale for rainfall induced earthflows: Catakli catchment area (Cayeli, Rize, Turkey). Math Probl Eng 1–21. Article ID 280431CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Nefeslioglu HA, Gokceoglu C, Sonmez H, Gorum T (2011) Medium scale hazard mapping for shallow landslide initiation: the Buyukkoy catchment area (Cayeli, Rize, Turkey). Landslides 8:459–483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Nolasco-Javier D, Kumar L (2018) Deriving the rainfall threshold for shallow landslide early warning during tropical cyclones: a case study in Northern Philippines. Nat Hazards 90(2):921–941. Scholar
  33. Ocakoglu F, Gokceoglu C, Ercanoglu M (2002) Dynamics of a complex mass movement triggered by heavy rainfall: a case study from NW Turkey. Geomorph 42(3):329–341. Scholar
  34. OGC (2018). Accessed 21 Aug 2018
  35. Research Councils UK (2018). = NE%2FP000452%2F1. Accessed 10 Feb 2018
  36. Rosser B, Dellow S, Haubrock S, Glassey Ph (2017) New Zealand’s national landslide database. Landslides 14:1949. Scholar
  37. Saemundsson T, Morino C, Kristinn HJ, Conway SJ, Pétursson HG (2018) The triggering factors of the Móafellshyrna debris slide in Northern Iceland: intense precipitation, earthquake activity and thawing of mountain permafrost. Sci Total Env 621:1163–1175. Scholar
  38. Salvati P, Petrucci O, Rossi M, Bianchi C, Pasqua AA, Guzzetti F (2018) Gender, age and circumstances analysis of flood and landslide fatalities in Italy. Sci Total Env 610–611:867–879CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Samodra G, Chen G, Sartohadi J, Kasama K (2018) Generating landslide inventory by participatory mapping: an example in Purwosari Area, Yogyakarta, Java. Geomorph 306:306–313. Scholar
  40. Schuster RL, Fleming RW (1986) Economic losses and fatalities due to landslides. Bull Assoc Eng Geol 23(1):11–28Google Scholar
  41. Scott D, Barnett C (2009) Something in the air: civic science and contentious environmental politics in post-apartheid South Africa. Geoforum 40(3):373–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. See L, Mooney P, Foody G, Bastin L, Comber A, Estima J, Fritz S, Kerle N, Jiang B, Laakso M, Liu HY, Milčinski G, Nikšič M, Painho M, Pődör A, Olteanu-Raimond AM, Rutzinger M (2016) Crowdsourcing, citizen science or volunteered geographic information? The current state of crowdsourced geographic information. ISPRS Int J Geo-Inf 5:55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Silvertown J (2009) A new dawn for CitSci. Trends Eco Evol 24:467–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Singh P, Saran S, Kumar D, Padalia H, Srivastava A, Kumar AS (2018) Species mapping using citizen science approach through IBIN portal: use case in foothills of Himalaya. J Indian Soc Rem Sens 46(10):1725–1737. Scholar
  45. Sorte FAL, Fink D, Hochachka WM, Kelling S (2016) Convergence of broad-scale migration strategies in terrestrial birds. Proc R Soc B 283(1823):20152588. Scholar
  46. Stephens M, Lowry JH, Ram AR (2018) Location-based environmental factors contributing to rainfall-triggered debris flows in the Ba river catchment, northwest Viti Levu Island. Fiji. Landslides 15:145. Scholar
  47. Tang Z, Liu T (2016) Evaluating Internet- based public participation GIS (PPGIS) and volunteered geographic information (VGI). Env Plan Man J 59:1073–1090CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. UN Sustainable Development Goals (2018). Accessed 15 Feb 2018
  49. USGS Landslide Hazards Program (2018). Accessed 15 Feb 2018
  50. van Westen CJ, Castellanos Abella EA, Sekhar LK (2008) Spatial data for landslide susceptibility, hazards and vulnerability assessment: an overview. Eng Geo 102:112–131. Scholar
  51. Valenzuela P, Domínguez-Cuesta MJ, García MAM, Jiménez-Sánchez M (2017) A spatio-temporal landslide inventory for the NW of Spain: BAPA database. Geomorph 293:11–23. Scholar
  52. Varnes DJ (1984) IAEG commission on landslides: landslide hazard zonation—a review of principles and practice. UNESCO, Paris, p 63Google Scholar
  53. World Meteorological Organisation (2001) Volunteers for weather, climate and water, Geneva, Switzerland, WMO No. 919Google Scholar
  54. Zook M, Graham M, Shelton T, Gorman S (2010) Volunteered geographic information and crowdsourcing disaster relief: a case study of the Haitian Earthquake. World Med Health Policy 2(2): Art. 2. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geomatics EngineeringHacettepe UniversityBeytepe AnkaraTurkey

Personalised recommendations