Development of an SDI Conceptual Model to Facilitate Disaster Management
4 SDI Conceptual Modeling and Development of Web-Based System for Disaster Management – A Case Study
With respect to above description, a research study has been designed and conducted in Iran with the aim of development of an SDI conceptual model and a prototype web-based system for disaster response. Main steps of this research included:
At the first stage disaster management community was assessed with respect to spatial data and those technical and non-technical factors that affect development of SDI. The Basic Organizational Behavior Model was used as a framework for conduction of this assessment due to complexity of disaster management community. This model breaks an organization/community to different hierarchical levels (individual, group and organizational levels) and introduces different elements that affect behavior of each level. Figure 2 shows the basic organizational behavior model and the elements that were used for assessment at each level.
- Assessing disaster management community from different technical and non-technical perspectives with respect to spatial data,
- Development of an SDI conceptual model, based on the results of the assessment,
- Development of a web-based GIS based on the SDI conceptual model,
- Conduction of a pilot project to test the developed SDI conceptual model and prototype web-based GIS, and
- Refinement of the SDI conceptual model and the developed prototype web-based system.
Fig. 2. The basic organizational behavior model and selected variables at each level for assessment
Results of organizational assessment showed that development of SDI for disaster management in Iran is a matter of social, technical and technological, political, institutional and economical challenges. Based on the results of organizational assessment, at the second step, the SDI conceptual model was developed by examining and expanding each of the components of SDI within the context of disaster response. This model is a framework that can create an appropriate environment for participation of organizations in collection, sharing and usage of spatial data for disaster management.
At the third step, a prototype web-based system using GIS engine with a user-friendly interface was also developed as a tool for spatial data collection, sharing and analysis. Figure 3 shows the overall structure of this system. As Figure 3 shows the web-based system is based on five core components including user interface for clients to access and analyze data, web server and application server for getting the clients’ request and sending it to map server, map server for data analysis and query based on clients’ request, data server for retrieving data from a database and serving them to map server for analysis, and database that includes spatial data.
Fig. 3. Core components of web-based System and their relations
At the fourth step, a pilot project was conducted. This pilot was conducted in Tehran, the capital of Iran with collaboration of different organizations from disaster management community in order to test the web-based system and developed SDI conceptual model. Considering the important role of awareness for SDI development, increasing the awareness of disaster management community on advantages of developed system that works using SDI, was another aim of this pilot project. This pilot project was about responding to an assumed earthquake in Tehran.
In this pilot, a maneuver scenario was defined with which involved organizations could experience a coordinated disaster response based on spatial data sharing and analysis. During the maneuver, each organization updated its own spatial datasets within responding operations, and shared them with the disaster response community. Therefore each individual responding organization had access to required spatial datasets to integrate and analyze their datasets using GIS functionalities to support their own decision-making for disaster response.
At the last step, based on the results of the pilot project, the developed prototype web-based system and the developed SDI conceptual model were refined. Figure 4 shows the schematic presentation of the developed SDI conceptual model for disaster response.
Fig. 4. Schematic presentation of the developed SDI conceptual model for disaster response
The results of the pilot project also showed that a web-based GIS using an SDI framework:
- Facilitates and improves decision-making process,
- Facilitates and improves coordination of activities, and
- Reduces the response time span to at least 40% of the currents situation
The results of the case study and its pilot project showed how useful a web-based system that works using SDI can be for effective and efficient disaster response management. Using SDI framework, reliable and up-to-date spatial data for disaster response is always available and accessible for decision-makers. A web-based system is also an appropriate tool which can be used for data sharing and data analysis and consequently coordinating and controlling emergency situation.
The effectiveness and efficiency of the system can be interpreted by different elements, however, in this research facilitating decision-making process, facilitating coordination of activities and reducing the response time duration were chosen as three evaluating factors.
It should be noted that such SDI conceptual model and web-based system facilitates and improves not only disaster response, but also other phases of disaster management including mitigation, preparedness and recovery.
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