Role of Geospatial Information for Disaster Risk Management as Exemplified in Recent Large Earthquakes in Japan
Geographic location is one of the most fundamental and indispensable information elements for us to work on disasters. For example, in the case of the Tohoku Earthquake in 2011, aerial photos taken immediately after the earthquake greatly improved the information sharing among different government offices and facilitated the rescue and recovery operations, and maps prepared after the disasters have been assisting the rapid reconstruction of the affected local communities. In addition, in the case of the Kumamoto Earthquake in 2016, up-to-date geospatial information technologies were well applied to grasp the disaster situation such as UAVs and InSAR. Advancement of web mapping technology allows us to understand the situation by overlaying various location-specific data on base maps on the web and specify the areas which the activities should be focused on. 3D modelling technology enables realistic understandings of the relationship between disaster and topography. Geospatial information technology can support the proper judgement of preparation and emergency response against disaster by the individuals and local communities through such as hazard mapping and information services using mobile devices. Thus, geospatial information technology is now more and more taking vital role for all the stages of disaster risk management and responses. Acknowledging such vital role of geospatial information for disaster reduction, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030, adopted at the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction repeatedly indicates the importance of use of geospatial information technology for disaster reduction.