How can new mobile technologies and social media open up new ways of social engagement and support before, during and in the aftermath of a disaster?
This question is the leitmotiv of the video called “Naturkatastrophen 2.0” (Natural Disasters 2.0), created by Melanie Eckle and Benjamin Herfort, two undergraduate research assistants of the GIScience group, the students being supervised by Prof. Dr. João Porto de Albuquerque, and founding members of the group “Disaster Mappers Heidelberg”. The video was invited to be part of the exhibition “Von Atlantis bis heute” (From Atlantis till today) that is organized by and presented at the Reiss-Engelhorn Museum Mannheim in cooperation with Heidelberg University and Technische Universität Darmstadt.
The video also presents activities and research results of the GIScience group about the use of Volunteered Geographic Information for Disaster Management in the past few years: from the emergency routing service based on OpenStreetMap developed after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, passing through the analysis of social media use in the 2013 floods in Germany, up to the “crisis mapping” sessions and other activities of the GIScience team in support of the relief efforts that followed the typhoon Hayian in the Philippines in 2013.
The exhibition shows a historical view of how people of different cultures and eras react to and cope with natural disasters, putting our video in a very nice historical context. It will be open to the public from September 7th 2014 till March 1st 2015. However, if you cannot make it to the exhibition (what we strongly recommend!), you can check out our video online here (in German) or here (in English).