Post-disaster damage assessment – combining remote sensing image analysis and crowdsourcing (Dr. Norman Kerle, ITC), GIScience HD Colloquium, Wednesday 22.07.15

We cordially invite anybody to our final GIScience colloquium in this summer term.

Dr. Norman Kerle from ITC
will talk about
Post-disaster damage assessment – combining remote sensing image analysis and crowdsourcing
on Wednesday, Jul 22, 2015, 4:00 pm,
at Hörsaal, Berliner Straße 48, Institute of Geography, Heidelberg University

Following a disaster event a rapid assessment of its consequences is required, as all stakeholders involved in response and recovery activities rely on situational intelligence. Remote sensing technology has become the principal tool for such mapping, and many types of sensing instruments deployed over the last decades have been used for damage mapping. However, while properties of remote sensing such as rapid availability or synoptic coverage remain strong assets, and despite a host of technical advances, the actual task of damage assessment continues to pose substantial challenges. Those relate to the unique characteristics of individual sensing systems (repeat visit time, incident angle, spatial and spectral image resolution, etc.), but also to the fact that damage is a complex concept with both physical and functional dimensions. In a bid to increase the amount of information that allows a damage assessment beyond obvious rubble piles, increasing use is being made of airborne oblique sensing systems, in particular with the help of unmanned aerial vehicles. The research in our group focuses not on the instrument or engineering side, but rather on image analysis and semantic processing, with object-based image analysis playing an important role. One interesting recent development that is also increasingly influencing the field of damage assessment if crowdsourcing/VGI. This ranges from field-based reporting to collaborative image-based damage mapping. While the potential of such an approach is event, it is far less clear when specifically to make use of volunteers, and how to instruct and engage them.