Web-based public participation GIS application : a case study on flood emergency management

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för naturgeografi och ekosystemvetenskap

Abstract: Scientific summary The increasing prevalence of natural disasters is driving people to pay more and more attention to emergency management. Progress in catastrophe analysis capabilities based on Geographical Information System (GIS) may allow the needs of public participation to be considered. Synchronous data sharing between citizens and emergency workers could effectively promote the process of decision making. This thesis introduces an interactive web-based application which mainly deals with flood risk management in Kamloops in Canada. The application is built for citizens and emergency workers using three layers: (1) the client side is developed in HTML and JavaScript; (2) the web server layer, which connects the users and the database, is implemented in PHP; and (3) the database contains PostgreSQL, GeoServer and OSM. Except the city map, PostgreSQL stores the spatial information with the support of OpenGIS. Generally, the application meets the initial objectives. Citizens can access present shelter information and register their own requirements for shelter, while emergency workers have the power to manage all the shelters and warehouses based on the available flood information and figure out the supply allocation solution based on the response from the public. On the other hand, the application also provides useful routing functions for both citizens and emergency workers, such as searching the available shortest path to a shelter, and computing the optimized allocation routes between all the shelters and warehouses. This practical study proved that Public Participation GIS (PPGIS), combined with IT knowledge, can provide very useful tools for decision making when facing a flood risk.

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