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Modeling damage on indivudial exposed elements (e.g. buildings)

We are discussing to use the INSPIRE NRZ data model to formalize the Copernicus EMS - Mapping Service where one type of information is the "grading" of damage on individual exposed elements (e.g. buildings). The concept of  the "Observed event" and its magnitude or intensity cannot be used since it is an assessment for the whole past event. So we should use the "Exposed element" concept, but there we have only the "vulnerability assessment" which refers to "future events" or...? So the only option to me is either to use the "vulnerability assessment" of the exposed elements more "freely" to capture occurred damage or extend the property of exposed element with "damage assessment".. Any thought about it?   

  • Matthew HARRISON

    By Matthew HARRISON

    Over time I have become less precious about scope and at the same time increasing concerned by clarity.

    So, I think that there should be a place for damage assessment and disaster databases in the theme.  But I also think that we should be clear about how they fit, or not, into the model.

    To my mind they are either part of the process of vulnerability assessment, or process of identifying a hazard. Both of which are formally out of scope. At the same time, if these activities were to be standardised or vulnerability assessments or disaster databases published then it would be a good thing for interoperability in Disaster Risk Management overall.

    In other themes I have recently encouraged communities not to misuse existing parts of the existing Inspire data specifications, but to extend as necessary. To include to essential data in the model but to extend to allow them to incorporate the data that doesn't necessarily fit into the published data model at this time. I think that this is the best route to Interoperability.

    I think with more detail on exactly what Copernicus EMS are trying to achieve, that the community here could recommend how best to extend the existing data model.

  • Robert TOMAS

    I agree with the strategy not to misuse already defined concepts..., but at the same time INSPIRE is a basic data infrastructure to be extended as needed. The Copernicus EMS is an operational services that produces spatial data which could benefit from an INSPIRE framework - better interoperability, semantic harmonization etc.. I believe that extending the Exposed element with "a damage assessment" attribute that would follow the "assessment framework" that we have already defined could be a good solution. It is true that the exposed element definition would be extended from vulnerability (future) to certain type of hazard to also actual occurred damage of a certain hazard..  



    In my view we must be clear about the scope of NZs: the future.

    We have admitted a small window of past events (observed events, so called) because they can be relevant to understanding (or communicating about) the natural processes to come (hazards; and remember that "a hazard" cannot have happened because it belongs exclusively in the future). These observed events are meant for "past natural phenomena", not their consequences.

    Moreover, it makes little sense to include past damages to individually exposed elements:

    - If the structure was damaged, and afterwards repaired, it will never be the structure it was before, therefore damages in the future will most likely be significantly different.
    - If the structure was damaged and it was not repaired, it will not behave similarly to what it did in the past.
    - If the structure disappeared, it makes no sense considering it for future events (we will never build the exact same structure in the exact same spot).
    - Maybe the structure suffered damage after a complex situation, therefore not related to the hazard itself (fires after quakes, flood after a  bridge-blocking, the failure of a defence structure and so on).

    Damage databases are totally disconnected to risk databases: looking backwards makes it relatively easy to understand why something happened (a complex cause-effect, or the unforeseeable damage that did occur). On the other hand, looking forward (to the future) means searching for the most obvious consequences (relatively simple cause-effect). That is a scientific approach: a foreseeable (understandable) outcome, not including the whole set of (unlimited) variables.

    Disasters have a lot of “if onlys”: If only the quake hadn’t cause that massive landslides or fires or tsunami. If only (one month after the quake) would the water supply been repaired, no cholera cases, no malaria. If only the wind blew the opposite direction when the Grimsvöten erupted.

    Still more: exposed elements are not restricted to "buildings" or physical objects. Eg: the air traffic shut-downs after the Grimsvötn volcano eruption in 2011.

    If we mix complex (unforeseeable) cause-effect with simple (foreseeable) cause-effects, our database will turn out to be difficult to use (if usable at all), and therefore not interoperable.

    Disaster (or damage) information or data structure requires another Inspire mandate.

    Therefore, in my view, we should not accept past damages in the NRZ-structure or database for individually exposed elements. I can't see the point in doing so.

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