Special Issue on Effective Emergency Management: A Geographic Approach
Haruo Hayashi and Go Urakawa
This special issue introduces 12 papers on a variety of best practices for effective emergency management using geospatial database and geographic information system (GIS).
The first seven papers are grouped under GIS in action, show how GIS is used for different disaster reduction services. In response to the 2007 Niigata-ken Chuetsu-oki Earthquake, GIS maps have been a part of Niigata PrefectureGovernment Emergency Operation Center work to aid in decisionmaking by providing Common Operational Picture (COP) as detailed by Tamura et al. A victim database was used as the key for integrated victim support in Kashiwazaki City in long-term recovery as detailed by Inoguchi et al. The success of GIS-based postdisaster operations vastly impacts on local governments in Wajima City, hit by the 2007 Noto Hanto Earthquake, where the use of GIS continued and expanded as an effective tool for building local government agency response capacity as detailed by Ura et al. In Kashiwazaki, the failure to apply municipal integrated GIS in postdisaster operations changed GIS policy to a less expensive service-oriented GIS readily available for local government agency use as detailed by Honma et al. A nationwide GIS map archive for researchers contains maps created at different disaster response stages as detailed by Nawa et al. Visualization of disaster impact using GIS is a powerful tool for disaster mitigation and preparedness, with impact by a worst-case-scenario magnitude 7.3 Tokyo Metropolitan earthquake as detailed by Suzuki et al. Design principles for visualization are reviewed by Urabe et al.
In Japan, damage certification is used as the basis for deciding public and private support eligibility for quake victims, making it imperative for local governments to issue certification based on housing damage assessment results as soon and as fairly as possible. Based on practices in Kashiwazaki City following the 2007 Niigataken Chuetsu-oki earthquake, damage to 64,000 household footprints was assessed within one month as detailed in the last five papers.
Two papers cover GIS-based data acquisition in housing damage assessment – PDA-assisted real-time input as detailed by Tonosaki et al., and OCRassisted paper result conversion as detailed by Higashida et al. In addition to housing damage assessment data, preexisting residential and housing databases should be integrated. Basic principles for creating this new database using GeoWrap are detailed by Yoshitomi et al. and implemented for Kashiwazaki as detailed by Matsuoka et al. In anticipating future disasters, a proposal to integrate local government operations both daily routine and emergency management was made by Urakawa et al.
We appreciate the support of the Special Project for Governance in Ubiquitous Society (2007-2009) by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and the Special Project for Metropolitan Earthquake Disaster Mitigation in Tokyo Metropolitan Area (2007-2011) by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan (MEXT).
Lastly, we would like to appreciate all the authors for their wonderful contribution as well as all the blind reviewers for their dedication to make this issue more valuable.