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


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. We focus on the need to develop actionable information products from these Earth observations to simplify the discovery, access and use of tailored products. 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 poster describes an approach within ESIP to collecting relevant material from the disasters and risk management community to address the end user needs for information. The resulting information architecture is needed to address 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. 

The ESIP Disaster Lifecycle Cluster has been established to facilitate connections and coordinate efforts among data providers, managers and developers of disaster response systems and tools, and end-user communities within ESIP. The cluster provides a forum to share insights and best practices on user needs, common procedures, common barriers and to translate those needs into system architecture practices. The cluster intends to xplore emerging technologies and match to needs to bridge the gap between developers and users. A major contribution is the ESIP sponsored Collaborative Common Operating Picture (C-COP) Testbed, which helps participants dentify and test ESIP member data sets to be recognized as trusted data sources for agencies and organizations responding to disasters.
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