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Disaster 2.0 case studies: Using web 2.0 applications and semantic technologies to strengthen public resilience to disasters

Beneito-Montagut, Roser ORCID:, Shaw, Duncan and Brewster, Christopher 2013. Disaster 2.0 case studies: Using web 2.0 applications and semantic technologies to strengthen public resilience to disasters. [Project Report]. Birmingham: Aston University. Available at:

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The following case studies were collected in the course of undertaking the project entitled “Disaster 2.0: Using Web 2.0 applications and Semantic Technologies to strengthen public resilience to disasters.” This project was funded by the European Commission DG Home Affairs as a CIPS project under grant number HOME/2010/CIPS/AG/002. The research project focussed on two aspects of disaster response. First, we investigated the current use (or lack thereof) of social media in all its forms i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube etc. by emergency management agencies. Secondly, the project considered the role of Semantic Web technologies and how they could contribute to future emergency management information systems. The case studies presented below concern exclusively the first of these two subjects. The research was conducted in the period between September 2011 and August 2013. The research team undertook a series of interviews with emergency management agencies in five European countries, viz. Italy, Greece, Germany, Poland and Belgium. Each country was found to be very different in the structure and organisations of emergency management operations so it was difficult to make direct comparisons. For example, in some countries extensive use is made of volunteers and voluntary organisations which tend to be more agile in adapting to new technologies, while other countries are more structured around state provision of all emergency response. The variety of initiatives and the range of methods with which social media were being used is emblematic of the creativity that many people have when faced with the opportunities offered by new technology. Of great importance in the examples shown below is the the issue of responsibility. The more responsibility for communication using social media is devolved down to officers and agents on the ground the more effective, responsive and useful it is for society. Overall we believe these case studies provide an important snapshot of how social media technologies are being used today and provide useful lessons for current and future practitioners. While some agencies have clearly embraced these technologies effectively, we also know from our research that there are still considerable challenges in engaging with these technologies. We hope that the case studies presented here will provide useful examples for others to follow, learn from and adapt to the needs of their own situation.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: Aston University
ISBN: 9781854494528
Funders: European Commission – Directorate-Home Affairs
Related URLs:
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2022 10:12

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