An Information Architect’s View of Earth Observations for Disaster Risk Management

Monday, 15 December 2014
Karen Moe1, John D Evans2, Patrice G Cappelaere3, Stuart W Frye4, Daniel Mandl1 and Kevin E. Dobbs5, (1)NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (2)GST, inc., Greenbelt, MD, United States, (3)Vightel Corporation, Ellicott City, MD, United States, (4)Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies Greenbelt, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (5)Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence, KS, United States
Satellite observations play a significant role in supporting disaster response and risk management, however data complexity is a barrier to broader use especially by the public. In December 2013 the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites Working Group on Information Systems and Services documented a high-level reference model for the use of Earth observation satellites and associated products to support disaster risk management within the Global Earth Observation System of Systems context. The enterprise architecture identified the important role of user access to all key functions supporting situational awareness and decision-making. This paper focuses on the need to develop actionable information products from these Earth observations to simplify the discovery, access and use of tailored products. To this end, our team has developed an Open GeoSocial API proof-of-concept for GEOSS. We envision public access to mobile apps available on smart phones using common browsers where users can set up a profile and specify a region of interest for monitoring events such as floods and landslides. Information about susceptibility and weather forecasts about flood risks can be accessed. Users can generate geo-located information and photos of local events, and these can be shared on social media. The information architecture can address usability challenges to transform sensor data into actionable information, based on the terminology of the emergency management community responsible for informing the public. This paper describes the approach to collecting relevant material from the disasters and risk management community to address the end user needs for information. The resulting information architecture addresses the structural design of the shared information in the disasters and risk management enterprise. Key challenges are organizing and labeling information to support both online user communities and machine-to-machine processing for automated product generation.