Exploring Community Attitudes Towards Sharing of Bushfire Information Online
Paul Haimes*, Stuart Medley**, Danielle Brady**, and Tetsuaki Baba*
*Tokyo Metropolitan University
6-6 Asahigaoka, Hino, Tokyo 191-0065, Japan
**Edith Cowan University
2 Bradford Street Mount Lawley, WA 6050, Australia datesOctober 23, 2015February 29, 2016
This research describes outcomes from a project that aimed to present near real-time bushfire information to remote and regional Australian communities susceptible to bushfires through an intuitive and easy to use interface. This project arose as a response to calls for increased information sharing amongst communities and individuals in the wake of several severe fire events in Australia. Several rounds of user engagement were undertaken, which informed the design of an application that came to be known as MyFireWatch, which was launched as an officially-supported publicly-accessible web application. Previous research in Australia regarding bushfire information suggests that user-sourced data can provide rich, timely and meaningful information. Yet the MyFireWatch research, the first of its kind in Australia to ascertain community attitudes to user-sourced disaster information, found that user attitudes varied. This paper describes those user attitudes and how they pose both challenges and opportunities for organisations who provide publicly-accessible disaster information.
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