THREE-DIMENSIONAL MAPS FOR DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Keywords: three-dimensional cartography, map standards, crisis management, user-oriented, value-added
Abstract. Geo-information techniques have proven their usefulness for the purposes of early warning and emergency response. These techniques enable us to generate extensive geo-information to make informed decisions in response to natural disasters that lead to better protection of citizens, reduce damage to property, improve the monitoring of these disasters, and facilitate estimates of the damages and losses resulting from them. The maintenance and accessibility of spatial information has improved enormously with the development of spatial data infrastructures (SDIs), especially with second-generation SDIs, in which the original product-based SDI was improved to a process-based SDI. Through the use of SDIs, geo-information is made available to local, national and international organisations in regions affected by natural disasters as well as to volunteers serving in these areas. Volunteer-based systems for information collection (e.g., Ushahidi) have been created worldwide. However, the use of 3D maps is still limited.
This paper discusses the applicability of 3D geo-information to disaster management. We discuss some important aspects of maps for disaster management, such as user-centred maps, the necessary components for 3D maps, symbols, and colour schemas. In addition, digital representations are evaluated with respect to their visual controls, i.e., their usefulness for the navigation and exploration of the information. Our recommendations are based on responses from a variety of users of these technologies, including children, geospecialists and disaster managers from different countries.