Rapid population growth and urbanization combined with extreme climatic events are causing a rapid increase in vulnerability of communities exposed to hazardous events. As a result, disasters are taking an increasingly heavy toll on life and property. Unplanned growth, both in urban and non-urban areas, calls for adequate preparation to reduce the impact of disasters. This creates a need to utilize disaster risk information during planning for effective coping mechanisms for disaster risk reduction.
Disaster risk information is spatial in nature and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) play an important role in disaster risk assessment and management. For this, there is a significant need to create awareness among the disaster management professionals regarding the importance of GIS usage.
The main aim of this course is to provide an overview of the use of spatial information in disaster risk management. The course not only reveals what spatial data is and how it is collected, but also emphasizes the use of such spatial data during pre- and post-disaster management, such as during early warning, hazard, vulnerability and risk assessment, damage assessment, as well as in the design of risk reduction measures. The course ultimately hopes that scientific advancement can be utilized for better disaster risk reduction practices.
Upon completion of the course, the participants will be able to:
- Describe and utilize spatial data, GIS and remote sensing in disaster risk assessment and management
- Utilize existing sources of historical disaster information and elements at risk data
- Apply GIS/remote sensing in hazard, vulnerability and risk assessment
- Employ risk information in emergency preparedness planning
- Visualize hazard and risk information
- Apply GIS/remote sensing to post-disaster damage assessment
The course is extended over 10 work days structured around the following modules:
Basic concepts and terminologies of disaster management
Basic concepts of GIS and remote sensing
Introduction to spatial information
Handling spatial information (Introduction to ArcGIS)
The use of satellite imagery for disaster relief and recovery
Impact analysis and preliminary damage assessment
Building damage assessment
Elements at risk and vulnerability assessment
Types and methods of risk assessment, risk evaluation, cost-benefit analysis
Visualization of risk information
Risk information and spatial planning
The course is divided into 5 modules where UNOSAT shall be responsible for module 2 only. UNOSAT’s module is structured into 4 sessions of 1.5 hours each with an estimated workload of approximately 16 hours spread over 3 days. It is considered that the length of the course well reflects its scope and is adequate to enable participants to achieve the learning objectives.
Drawing upon the rich repository of knowledge and experience in the application of GIS in disaster risk management of ADPC, AIT, ITC, UNITAR-UNOSAT, and other partner organizations, the course is primarily designed to promote the understanding of the importance of data and outputs of GIS processed application in the disaster management and disaster risk reduction works.
The course has a mixture of adult learning methodologies such as interactive lectures, discussion sessions and group exercises. A mini-project will additionally allow participants to practice GIS application in their own situation of selected hazard type and disaster management phase. Participants can bring their own dataset to the practice in the course, if they have any.
This course is co-organized and facilitated by the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation of the University of Twente, the Netherlands (ITC) and UNITAR/UNOSAT.
All teaching and reference materials are in English. Participants must be fully conversant in English.
Minimum software includes: ESRI ArcGIS version 10.1 with extensions (spatial analyst), Google Earth and access to the internet.
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