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Disaster 2.0: Using Web 2.0 applications and semantic technologies to strengthen public resilience to disasters

Communication technologies are developing all the time. How should governments use them to prepare their disaster responses? Disaster 2.0 is organising a number of events addressing this question.

Project dates 01/09/2011 - 31/08/2013
TopicCrisis Management
Total budget€518 587
EU contribution70%
Project CoordinatorAston University (United Kingdom)
Associate PartnersUniversity of Warwick (United Kingdom)

Project Description

Disaster 2.0 explores how EU governments currently use Web 2.0 applications (Twitter, Facebook, Ushahidi) and semantic technologies in disaster response. New communication technologies are one element that governments can use to plan, coordinate and implement proportional responses to a variety of disasters.

The project investigates the role of Web 2.0 platforms in mitigating damage to critical infrastructure and building resilience among the general public. It will also establish the scope for semantic web (Web 3.0) technologies in emergency management and information exchange.

The United Kingdom, working with five other EU countries (Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland), will share good practice and identify practitioners’ needs for future technologies.

Benefits and results

Since September 2011, the Disaster 2.0 team has collected data from the participating countries, presented its research at conferences and successfully hosted two of the five organised events. The events facilitated communication between emergency management practitioners, communication specialists and software developers and provided a forum for the exchange of good practice.

Approximately 49 interviews have so far been conducted with government organisations and emergency management agencies to understand the current and future use of social media and semantic technologies for disaster response.

The remaining time on the project will be used to disseminate the research findings. This includes feedback visits to participating countries, reports documenting the current and potential use of Web 2.0 applications and semantic technologies, and an illustrative Web 2.0 application for organisations to learn from.

A further three events to share good practice (a master class, ‘hackathon’ and conference) have been organised for the remaining 10 months of the project. The conference to be held in 2013 will provide a forum for academics and practitioners to share insights on the use of technologies for disaster response.

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