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Volunteered Geographic Information in Natural Hazard Analysis: A Systematic Literature Review of Current Approaches with a Focus on Preparedness and Mitigation

Department of Geography, Heidelberg University, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Alexander Zipf, David Jonietz, Vyron Antoniou, Linda See and Wolfgang Kainz
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2016, 5(7), 103;
Received: 2 April 2016 / Revised: 2 June 2016 / Accepted: 15 June 2016 / Published: 25 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volunteered Geographic Information)
PDF [1330 KB, uploaded 25 June 2016]


With the rise of new technologies, citizens can contribute to scientific research via Web 2.0 applications for collecting and distributing geospatial data. Integrating local knowledge, personal experience and up-to-date geoinformation indicates a promising approach for the theoretical framework and the methods of natural hazard analysis. Our systematic literature review aims at identifying current research and directions for future research in terms of Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) within natural hazard analysis. Focusing on both the preparedness and mitigation phase results in eleven articles from two literature databases. A qualitative analysis for in-depth information extraction reveals auspicious approaches regarding community engagement and data fusion, but also important research gaps. Mainly based in Europe and North America, the analysed studies deal primarily with floods and forest fires, applying geodata collected by trained citizens who are improving their knowledge and making their own interpretations. Yet, there is still a lack of common scientific terms and concepts. Future research can use these findings for the adaptation of scientific models of natural hazard analysis in order to enable the fusion of data from technical sensors and VGI. The development of such general methods shall contribute to establishing the user integration into various contexts, such as natural hazard analysis. View Full-Text
Keywords: Web 2.0; volunteered geographic information; natural hazard analysis Web 2.0; volunteered geographic information; natural hazard analysis

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Klonner, C.; Marx, S.; Usón, T.; Porto de Albuquerque, J.; Höfle, B. Volunteered Geographic Information in Natural Hazard Analysis: A Systematic Literature Review of Current Approaches with a Focus on Preparedness and Mitigation. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2016, 5, 103.

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