Define common information management processes between agencies


  • Define the information to be shared among agencies, and share a database (cartography, plans, lessons learned …). Share needs and limitations from different agencies
  • Define the evaluation process and each agency paper on it.
  • Relevant procedures and terminology should be known by all responders.
  • Standardize the shared information between the Call Center and the Command Post.



Possible Solutions

Name Provider

(company, project, organization)

Short description
SecInCoRe project (Secure Dynamic Cloud for Information, Communication and Resource Interoperability based on Pan-European Disaster Inventory) The overall objective of SecInCoRe (Secure Dynamic Cloud for Information, Communication and Resource Interoperability based on Pan-European Disaster Inventory) is to identify data sets, processes, information systems and business models used by first responders and Police authorities leading to a dynamic and secure cloud based ‘common information space’.
SECTOR project (Secure European Common Information Space for the Interoperability of First Responders and Police Authorities) flexible Common Information Space concept that provides users with “peer-to-peer” type functionalities to dynamically set-up cross-agency collaborative platforms and information spaces, for information and resource sharing across agencies and across borders, as required in a specific crisis situation
EPISECC project (Collaborative Project which will Establish a Pan-European Information Space to Enhance seCurity of Citizens) The project EPISECC is aiming at developing a concept of a common “European Information Space”. This information space is dedicated to become the key element in a future integrated pan-European crisis and disaster response capacity. Besides the development of a common Taxonomy and an ontology model, aimed at addressing the Semantic Interoperability issue, EPISECC will focus on the establishment of Interoperability at Physical (i.e. network) and Syntactical (i.e. automated information exchange) levels. One of the main purposes of the EPISECC approach, is to allow analysis of interoperability at all levels.
SAYSO project (Standardization of Situational Awareness sYstems to Strengthen Operations in civil protection) situational awareness systems for multiple stakeholders: roadmap and reference architecture
Challenges and obstacles in sharing and coordinating information during multi-agency disaster response Bharosa, Nitesh; Lee, JinKyu; Janssen, Marijn (2010): Information Systems Frontiers, 12(1), 49-56 Although various scholars have researched issues regarding disaster management, few have studied the sharing and coordinating of information during disasters. Not much empirical data is available in this field and there is sparse insight into the factors that may impede or facilitate information sharing and coordination among stakeholders. In this paper, we provide an overview of the relevant obstacles and challenges by examining existing literature and then investigating a series of multi-agency disaster management exercises, using observations and a survey. Although all the people who took part in our study agree that sharing information is important, for the success of their own organization as well as the exercise as a whole, the extent to which information is actually being shared among organizations is often limited by a number of factors that can be attributed to the community, agency and individual level. We found that relief workers are often more concerned with receiving information from others than with providing information to others who may benefit. Incentives for sharing information, understanding each other’s work-processes and the usability of information systems have shown positive effects on information sharing and coordination. The findings of our study have been formulated using six grounded propositions, which can be used by system designers and policy-makers upon validation in further research. We also provide directions for future research.
Transforming Crisis Management Bharosa, Nitesh; van Zanten, Bart; Janssen, Marijn; Groenleer, Martijn (2009): Semantic Web – Iswc 2014, Pt Ii, 5693, 65-75 Governments are searching for ways to improve information sharing between autonomous agencies. During crises, information demand and Supply are often unbalanced, leading to situations in which relief workers are faced with incorrect, outdated or incomplete information. To address such challenges, network-centric operations (NCO), which involves information sharing with the socio-technical network as the central enabling mechanism, has been proposed. Yet, NCO is ill-understood and it is unclear whether the promised benefits can be realized in practice. In this paper we address the gap between the concept and reality of NCO. The necessary capabilities for NCO are identified using literature research and potential benefits are analyzed using field research, We found that NCO is not a silver bullet for overcoming the inherent problems of crisis management and could even reinforce existing problems. Our findings suggest that NCO is difficult to implement and needs to be complemented with capability development in the information and cognitive domain.
Crowdsourcing, citizen sensing and sensor web technologies for public and environmental health surveillance and crisis management Boulos, Maged N. Kamel; Resch, Bernd; Crowley, David N.; Breslin, John G.; Sohn, Gunho; Burtner, Russ; Pike, William A.; Jezierski, Eduardo; Chuang, Kuo-Yu Slayer (2011): International Journal of Health Geographics, 10, ‘Wikification of GIS by the masses’ is a phrase-term first coined by Kamel Boulos in 2005, two years earlier than Goodchild’s term ‘Volunteered Geographic Information’. Six years later (2005-2011), OpenStreetMap and Google Earth (GE) are now full-fledged, crowdsourced ‘Wikipedias of the Earth’ par excellence, with millions of users contributing their own layers to GE, attaching photos, videos, notes and even 3-D (three dimensional) models to locations in GE. From using Twitter in participatory sensing and bicycle-mounted sensors in pervasive environmental sensing, to creating a 100,000-sensor geo-mashup using Semantic Web technology, to the 3-D visualisation of indoor and outdoor surveillance data in real-time and the development of next-generation, collaborative natural user interfaces that will power the spatially-enabled public health and emergency situation rooms of the future, where sensor data and citizen reports can be triaged and acted upon in real-time by distributed teams of professionals, this paper offers a comprehensive state-of-the-art review of the overlapping domains of the Sensor Web, citizen sensing and ‘human-in-the-loop sensing’ in the era of the Mobile and Social Web, and the roles these domains can play in environmental and public health surveillance and crisis/disaster informatics. We provide an in-depth review of the key issues and trends in these areas, the challenges faced when reasoning and making decisions with real-time crowdsourced data (such as issues of information overload, “noise”, misinformation, bias and trust), the core technologies and Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards involved (Sensor Web Enablement and Open GeoSMS), as well as a few outstanding project implementation examples from around the world.
Developing a Community of Practice to Learn, Share and Improve in Emergency Management Gimenez, Raquel; Hernantes, Josune; Labaka, Leire; Maria Sarriegi, Jose; Lauge, Ana (2014): Proceedings of the 15th European Conference on Knowledge Management    (Eckm 2014), Vols 1-3, 395–401 Natural disasters such as earthquakes, fires, and floods mostly hit unexpectedly without warning so it is important to be prepared having the expertise and knowledge readily available. However, despite the efforts made by organizations to identify lessons from failure, how often are the same mistakes repeated? In emergency management field there is still a limited availability of lessons learned and best practices due to several reasons. Much information exists as fragmented tacit knowledge in the heads of various responders and crisis managers from different countries and organizations. For the improvement of emergency management it is crucial to develop suitable tools that allow main stakeholders to build, share, and apply experiences and lessons learned from previous crises. In this way, mistakes could be avoided and best practices could be replicated. Virtual Communities of Practice (VCoPs) provide an ideal platform that allows groups of people concerned about the same topic to share and increase their knowledge and expertise. This paper describes the findings obtained during the development of a VCoP within a project funded by the European Commission. This VCoP involves multidisciplinary stakeholders from several organizations and nationalities, and has the objective to contribute to the knowledge sharing of lessons learned and best practices in the emergency preparedness and recovery for earthquakes, floods, and fires. The paper describes the barriers that limit the members of the VCoP to sharing lessons learned and best practices identified in three disaster scenario based workshops. Furthermore, it explains the functionalities for the technological platform of the VCoP to overcome these barriers validated by the VCoP members in a case study.
Distributed collaborative situation-map making for disaster response Gunawan, Lucy T.; Alers, Hani; Brinkman, Willem-Paul; Neerincx, Mark A. (2011): Interacting with Computers, 23(4), 308–316 A situation map that shows the overview of a disaster situation serves as a valuable tool for disaster response teams. It helps them to orientate their location and to make disaster response decisions. It is, however, a complicated task to rapidly generate a complete and comprehensive situation map of a disaster area, particularly due to the centralized organization of disaster management and the limited emergency services. In this study, we propose to let the affected population be utilized as an additional resource that can actively help to make such a situation map. The aim of this study was to investigate the possibility of constructing a shared situation map using a collaborative distributed mechanism. By examining earlier research, a detailed list of potential problems is identified in the collaborative map-making process. These problems were then addressed in an experiment which evaluated a number of proposed solutions. The results showed that more collaboration channels led to a situation map of better quality, and that including confidence information for objects and events in the map helped the discussion process during the map-making. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Reducing time in emergency medical service by improving information exchange among information systems Jelovsek, A.; Stern, M. (2007): 11th Mediterranean Conference on Medical and Biological Engineering and    Computing 2007, Vols 1 and 2, 16 (1-2), 704–707 There are many organized units involved to perform an emergency rescue mission: dispatch center, mobile rescue units and emergency departments (ED) in hospitals. Communication among them is often not fully automated, and then personnel need to cope with unnecessary work. That of course takes time in cases of urgent interventions, while time is one of the most important factors for patient survival. There are several processes in which better performance could be established. Improvement can be made by reducing communication obstacles between actors in processes and among three different information systems involved: hospital information system (HIS) in emergency department, computer aided dispatch (CAD) and records management system (RMS) used by mobile units. Verbal information exchange unreliability, paper sharing problems and retyping of data from system to system can be removed in many processes: hospital staff e-ordering from HIS, call taker to dispatcher in dispatch center, dispatcher to mobile unit and mobile unit to emergency department in hospital. With the establishment of paths among these three information systems (HIS, CAD and RMS) priceless saved minutes can be used in the battle for patient’s life. Improvements can also be achieved in the cost-effectiveness. Many data exchanged from involved information systems and gathered to a central database can be very useful for the needs of accountancy and EMS operation improvement management and EMS quality assurance management.
The growing role of web-based geospatial technology in disaster response and support Kawasaki, Akiyuki; Berman, Merrick Lex; Guan, Wendy (2013): Disasters, 37(2), 201–221 This paper examines changes in disaster response and relief efforts and recent web-based geospatial technological developments through an evaluation of the experiences of the Center for Geographic Analysis, Harvard University, of the Sichuan (2008) and Haiti (2010) earthquake responses. This paper outlines how conventional GIS (geographic information systems) disaster responses by governmental agencies and relief response organisations and the means for geospatial data-sharing have been transformed into a more dynamic, more transparent, and decentralised form with a wide participation. It begins by reviewing briefly at historical changes in the employment of geospatial technologies in major devastating disasters, including the Sichuan and Haiti earthquakes (case studies for our geospatial portal project). It goes on to assess changes in the available dataset type and in geospatial disaster responders, as well as the impact of geospatial technological changes on disaster relief effort. Finally, the paper discusses lessons learned from recent responses and offers some thoughts for future development.
Design and Function of the European Forest Fire Information System McInerney, Daniel; San-Miguel-Ayanz, Jesus; Corti, Paolo; Whitmore, Ceri; Giovando, Cristiano; Camia, Andrea (2013): Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, 97(10), 965–973 The European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) is a modular decision support system that monitors forest fires at a continental scale. It delivers real-time, multi-dimensional data on forest fires to civil protection and fire fighting services in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle-East. Since its inception in 2001, EFFIS has evolved into the central reference point for pan-European forest and wildfire information, and this paper describes and current applications demonstrate the state-of-the-art fire information systems that provide data to civil protection authorities across Europe. The objective of EFFIS is to provide accurate data in order to assess and mitigate the impacts of wildfire events on society and the environment. Furthermore, EFFIS provides real-time information on critical fires, supporting decision making for international collaboration on forest fire fighting activities. Its goal is to make these data readily available using Web-based standards and protocols.
Knowledge-Based Service Architecture for Multi-risk Environmental Decision Support Applications Middleton, Stuart E.; Sabeur, Zoheir A. (2011): Wireless and Mobile Networking, Proceedings, 359, 101–109 This paper describes our work to date on knowledge-based service architecture implementations for multi-risk environmental decision-support. The work described spans two research projects, SANY and TRIDEC, and covers application domains where very large, high report frequency real-time information sources must be processed in challenging timescales to support multi-risk decision support in evolving crises. We describe how OGC and W3C standards can be used to support semantic interoperability, and how context-ware information filtering can reduce the amount of processed data to manageable levels. We separate our data mining and data fusion processing into distinct pipelines, each supporting JDL inspired semantic levels of data processing. We conclude by outlining the challenges ahead and our vision for how knowledge-based service architectures can address these challenges.
Common frameworks of networking and information-sharing for advanced rescue systems Noda, I.; Hatayama, M. (2004): Ieee Robio 2004: Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on    Robotics and Biomimetics, 245–249 Networking and information-Sharing Task Force aims to develop common frameworks of robust networking and flexible information-sharing, which help to collect sensing data about damages and to control search-and-rescue devices like robots, sensor networks, PDA, and so on. Collecting disaster information at damaged area is the most important activity to help decision-making in rescue process, while normal infrastructure of information and communication itself is also damaged by the disaster. Ad-hoc network with wireless communication is one of important candidates to provide robust communication infrastructure. Our task force tries to figure out requirements of robot and sensor networks for search-and-rescue and tune-up middle-ware of ad-hoc networks for it. We also focus on common protocol to gather disaster information. Because the information will be provided by various types of sensors, robots and PDAs, quality of information depends on performance of the devices, conditions of environment, and human-factors. The common protocol should permit the wide-variated qualities of information.
The Impacts of ICT Support on Information Distribution, Task Assignment for Gaining Teams’ Situational Awareness in Search and Rescue Operations Nunavath, Vimala; Radianti, Jaziar; Comes, Tina; Prinz, Andreas (2016): Information Technology: New Generations, 425, 443–456 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has changed the way we communicate and work. To study the effects of ICT for Information Distribution (ID) and Task Assignment (TA) for gaining Teams’ Situational Awareness (TSA) across and within rescue teams, an indoor fire game was played with students. We used two settings (smartphone-enabled support vs. traditional walkietalkies) to analyze the impact of technology on ID and TA for gaining TSA in a simulated Search and Rescue operation. The results presented in this paper combine observations and quantitative data from a survey conducted after the game. The results indicate that the use of the ICT was good in second scenario than first scenario for ID and TA for gaining TSA. This might be explained as technology is more preferable and effective for information sharing, for gaining TSA and also for clear tasks assignment.
An Open GeoSpatial Standards-Enabled Google Earth Application to Support Crisis Management Pezanowski, Scott; Tomaszewski, Brian; MacEachren, Alan M. (2007): Intelligent Systems for Crisis Management: Geo-Information for Disaster    Management (Gi4dm) 2012, 225–238 Google Earth (GE) and related open geospatial technologies have changed both the accessibility of and audience for geospatial information dramatically. Through data rich applications with easy to use interfaces, these technologies bring personalized geospatial information directly to the non-specialist. When coupled with open geospatial data standards, such as Web Map Services (WMS), Web Features Services (WFS), and GeoRSS, the resulting web-based technologies have the potential to assimilate heterogeneous data from distributed sources rapidly enough to support time-critical activities such as crisis response. Although the ability to view and interact with data in these environments is important, this functionality alone is not sufficient for the demands of crisis response activity. For example, GE’s standard version currently lacks geoanalysis capabilities such as geographic buffering and topology functions. In this paper, we present development of the “Google Earth Dashboard” (GED), a web-based interface powered by open geospatial standards and designed for supplementing and enhancing the geospatial capabilities of GE. The GED allows users to create custom maps through WMS layer addition to GE and perform traditional GIS analysis functions. Utility of the GED is presented in a use-case scenario where GIS operations implemented to work with GE are applied to support crisis management activities. The GED represents an important first step towards combining the ubiquity of GE and geospatial standards into an easy-to-use, data rich, geo-analytically powerful environment that can support crisis management activity.
A case study of factor influencing role improvisation in crisis response teams Rankin, Amy; Dahlback, Nils; Lundberg, Jonas (2013): Cognition Technology & Work, 15(1), 79–93 Common characteristics of crisis situations are ambiguous and unplanned for events. The need for improvised roles can therefore be an imperative factor for the success of an operation. The aim of this study is to deepen the understanding of the processes taking place during improvised work “as it happens”. A case study of a crisis management team at work is presented and provides an in-depth analysis of the information and communication flow of persons acting in improvised roles, including contextual factors influencing the task at hand. The analysis suggests that three main factors lay behind decreased performance by the team when some of its members were forced to take on roles for which they lacked professional training; lack of language skills, lack of domain knowledge and insufficient organizational structure of the tasks. Based on the observations from this case study, we suggest three ways of improving a team’s performance and hence resilience when forced to improvise due to lack of personnel in one or more required competence areas. These are training to take on the responsibility for tasks or roles outside ones professional area of specialization, developing formal routines for changes in roles and tasks and developing and using tools and routines for information sharing.
Communication Platform for Disaster Response Sakurai, Mihoko (2016): Semantic Web – Iswc 2014, Pt Ii, 9661, 223–227 The present research proposes an information platform for enhanced communication and information sharing in municipalities struck by disasters. Once a disaster happens, collecting and sharing information with and among citizens is the most important tasks for municipalities. However, empirical research of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 revealed a marked lack of tools supporting municipal communication and data sharing activities at the initial stage. A smartphone and tablet based application was subsequently developed and evaluated in the field as a means of first response in future disasters. The application is based on the notion of frugality, which proved to be very useful in the field drill. Frugality is shown to be a requirement of the system as well as an evaluation indicator.
Mining the Disaster Hotspots – Situation-Adaptive Crowd Knowledge Extraction for Crisis Management Salfinger, Andrea; Schwinger, Wieland; Retschitzegger, Werner; Proell, Birgit (2016): IEEE International Multi-Disciplinary Conference on Cognitive    Methods in Situation Awareness and Decision Support (Cogsima), 212–218 When disaster strikes, emergency professionals rapidly need to gain Situation Awareness (SAW) on the unfolding crisis situation, thus need to determine what has happened and where help and resources are needed. Nowadays, platforms like Twitter are used as real-time communication hub for sharing such information, like humans’ on-site observations, advice and requests, and thus can serve as a network of “human sensors” for retrieving information on crisis situations. Recently, so-called crowd-sensing systems for crisis management have started to utilize these networks for harvesting crisis-related social media content. However, up to now these mainly support their human operators in the visual analysis of retrieved messages only and do not aim at the automated extraction and fusion of semantically grounded descriptions of the underlying real-world crisis events from these textual contents, such as providing structured descriptions of the types and locations of reported damage. This hampers further computational situation assessment, such as providing overall description of the on-going crisis situation, its associated consequences and required response actions. Consequently, this lack of semantically-grounded situational context does not allow to fully implement situation-adaptive crowd knowledge extraction, meaning the system can utilize already established (crowd) knowledge to correspondingly adapt its crowd-sensing and knowledge extraction process alongside the monitored situation, to keep pace with the underlying real-world incidents. In the light of this, in the present paper, we illustrate the realization of a situation-adaptive crowd-sensing and knowledge extraction system by introducing our crowd(SA) prototype, and examine its potential in a case study on a real-world Twitter crisis data set.
ENABLING INFORMATION GATHERING PATTERNS FOR EMERGENCY RESPONSE WITH THE OPENKNOWLEDGE SYSTEM Trecarichi, Gaia; Rizzi, Veronica; Marchese, Maurizio; Vaccari, Lorenzino; Besana, Paolo (2010): Computing and Informatics, 29(4), 537–555 Today’s information systems must operate effectively within open and dynamic environments This challenge becomes a necessity for ells’s management systems In emergency contexts, in fact, a large number of actors need to collaborate and coordinate in the disaster scenes by exchanging and reporting information with each other and with the people in the control room In such open settings, coordination technologies play a crucial role in supporting mobile agents located in areas prone to sudden changes with adaptive and flexible interaction patterns Research efforts in different areas are converging to devise suitable mechanisms for process coordination specifically, current results on service-oriented computing and multi-agent systems are being integrated to enable dynamic interaction among autonomous components in large, open systems This work focuses on the exploitation and evaluation of the OpenKnowledge framework to support different information-gathering patterns in emergency contexts The OpenKnowledge (OK) system has been adopted to model and simulate possible emergency plans The Lightweight Coordination Calculus (LCC) is used to specify inter action models, which are published, discovered and executed by the OK distributed infrastructure in order to simulate peer interactions A simulation environment fully integrated with the OK system has been developed to (1) evaluate whether such infrastructure is able to support different models of information-sharing, e g, centralized and decentralized patterns of Interaction, (2) Investigate under which conditions the OK paradigm, exploited in its decentralized nature, can improve the performance of more conventional centralized approaches Preliminary results show the capability of the OK system in supporting the two afore-mentioned patterns and, under ideal assumptions, a comparable performance in both cases
Information sharing and decision-making in multidisciplinary crisis management teams Uitdewilligen, Sjir; Waller, Mary J. (2018): Journal of Organizational Behavior, 39(6), 731–748 Multidisciplinary crisis management teams consist of highly experienced professionals who combine their discipline-specific expertise in order to respond to critical situations characterized by high levels of uncertainty, complexity, and dynamism. Although the existing literatures on team information processing and decision-making are mature, research specifically investigating multidisciplinary teams facing crisis situations is limited; however, given increasingly turbulent external environments that produce complex crisis situations, increasing numbers of organizations are likely to call upon multidisciplinary teams to address such events. In this paper, we investigate information processing and decision-making behaviors in an exploratory study of 12 organizational multidisciplinary crisis management teams. We identify three types of information sharing and track the emergence of distinct communicative phases as well as differences between high- and low-performing teams in the occurrence of sequences of information sharing behaviors. We close by discussing implications for research in this area and for managers of crisis management teams.
Data Mining Meets the Needs of Disaster Information Management Zheng, Li; Shen, Chao; Tang, Liang; Zeng, Chunqiu; Li, Tao; Luis, Steve; Chen, Shu-Ching (2013): Ieee Transactions on Human-MacHine Systems, 43(5), 451–464 Techniques to efficiently discover, collect, organize, search, and disseminate real-time disaster information have become national priorities for efficient crisis management and disaster recovery tasks. We have developed techniques to facilitate information sharing and collaboration between both private and public sector participants for major disaster recovery planning and management. We have designed and implemented two parallel systems: a web-based prototype of a Business Continuity Information Network system and an All-Hazard Disaster Situation Browser system that run on mobile devices. Data mining and information retrieval techniques help impacted communities better understand the current disaster situation and how the community is recovering. Specifically, information extraction integrates the input data from different sources; report summarization techniques generate brief reviews from a large collection of reports at different granularities; probabilistic models support dynamically generating query forms and information dashboard based on user feedback; and community generation and user recommendation techniques are adapted to help users identify potential contacts for report sharing and community organization. User studies with more than 200 participants from EOC personnel and companies demonstrate that our systems are very useful to gain insights about the disaster situation and for making decisions.