In the last decade, real-time access to data and the use of high-resolution spatial information have provided scientists and engineers with valuable information to help them understand risk. At the same time, there has been a rapid growth of novel and cutting-edge information and communication technologies for the collection, analysis and dissemination of data, re-inventing the way in which risk management is carried out throughout its cycle (risk identification and reduction, preparedness, disaster relief and recovery). The applications of those geospatial technologies are expected to enable better mitigation of, and adaptation to, the disastrous impact of natural hazards. The description of risks may particularly benefit from the integrated use of new algorithms and monitoring techniques. The ability of new tools to carry out intensive analyses over huge datasets makes it possible to perform future risk assessments, keeping abreast of temporal and spatial changes in hazard, exposure, and vulnerability. The present special issue aims to describe the state-of-the-art of natural risk assessment, management, and communication using new geospatial models and Earth Observation (EO)architecture. More specifically, we have collected a number of contributions dealing with: (1) applications of EO data and machine learning techniques for hazard, vulnerability and risk mapping; (2) natural hazards monitoring and forecasting geospatial systems; (3) modeling of spatiotemporal resource optimization for emergency management in the post-disaster phase; and (4) development of tools and platforms for risk projection assessment and communication of inherent uncertainties.
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