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‘Mayday we’re sinking!’ Can earth observation and semantic interoperability enable the smart emergency response methodology for search and rescue of migrants at sea?

Gianluca Luraschi Luraschi

(Submission #114)


Recent social, environmental and natural emergencies (e.g. mass population movement from Syria to Europe, oil pollution at the delta of the Niger, floods in Myanmar) urge politician, scientific and technical communities to find adequate responses for state-of-the art Emergency and Disaster Management (EDM) solutions. Assuming that a judicious use of data can lead to well informed and good decision making, in this work we have outlined the challenges to take into account in order to improve the EDM solutions. A key aspect of Emergency Response Systems (ERS) is the ability to plan for, and make timely decisions in a rapidly evolving situation. While Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) aims to provide such capabilities, within this analysis we have identified that nowadays emergency experts do not have the instruments to exhaustively process the unprecedented volume and variety of relevant Earth Observation data available (i.e. satellite platforms, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, in situ sensors, as well as citizen sensing information). To address these challenges we therefore considered how ERS can encompass the semantic aspects of interoperability. Based on a specific use case, the ‘Search and Rescue’ of migrants at Sea, we concluded that a new generation of EDM solutions should enhance the overall capacity semantically correlating different types of information, and as such, provide a richer situational awareness to responding to an emergency.


Topic Area:  [1.8] Risk and management of natural disasters
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional fields

Comments:   emergency and disaster management; semantic web; interoperability; spatial data infrastructure; earth observation; volunteered geographic information; Big Data; Open Data

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