Mobile map applications and the democratisation of hazard information
Proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH Asia 2015, Kobe, Japan
Association for Computing Machinery
School of Arts and Humanities
The geospatial web — exemplified by the popularity of Google Maps — has democratised the accessibility of geospatial data that was previously available only to those with expertise in GIS (Geo-graphic information systems). This increased accessibility has re-sulted in critical information — such as the location of bushfires in Australia — being made more accessible to communities vulner-able to such risks. This paper reports on the findings of a research project in Australia that aimed to present near real-time bushfire information in an interface that community-based users found in-tuitive and easy to use. It also describes the early prototype stages of an iPhone application that aims to demonstrate how Japanese natural hazard data can be presented in a more intuitive way. The work described here is intended to encourage organisations and in-dividuals presenting spatial hazard information to non-expert users to consider the needs, abilities and concerns of their intended audi-ence. It also describes the technologies and processes used in the design and development of the MyFireWatch and Mapping Hazards in Japan applications.