Connecting real-time hazard and impact data with users: proof of concept of a visualisation tool

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Potter SH, Harrison S, Thomas K-L, Leonard GS, Skilton J, Apiti M, Balfour NJ, Harvey S, Coomer MA, Kilgour GN. 2020. Connecting real-time hazard and impact data with users: proof of concept of a visualisation tool. Lower Hutt (NZ): GNS Science. 73 p. (GNS Science report; 2020/22). doi:10.21420/ZJJG-9C59

When a hazardous event occurs, such as an earthquake, eruption, storm, tsunami or landslide, there are often delays in understanding the severity and extent of the hazard and impacts. There are gaps in loss databases that inform forecast and warning systems, monitoring networks have gaps and there is limited capacity for officials to quickly visit every site to assess the damage. This results in delays in response, a reliance on media for situational awareness and a lack of information to inform response decisions and messaging. There are also gaps in loss databases, which help inform future risk management decisions and impact-based forecast and warning systems. We conducted 16 interviews with stakeholder agencies to understand their challenges in accessing real-time hazard and impact information. As a potential solution, we scoped out developing a real-time hazard and impact visualisation tool for Aotearoa New Zealand. We also aligned with other projects to collect data on the public’s willingness to submit observations (N = 4725, through an online survey) and to understand user needs for risk modelling outputs (six workshops and a survey, N = 145). We found that there is a need to connect existing hazard and impact data from multiple agencies, including monitoring data, forecasts and warnings and real-time risk/impact model outputs. Additionally, more crowdsourced observations would be beneficial, despite the associated data quality challenges. There was support for an online viewer application to be co-developed, as well as making data available to be incorporated into agencies’ existing dashboards. We provide a plan for moving forward with this concept. (auth)