Hands-On Experience of Crowdsourcing for Flood Risks. An Android Mobile Application Tested in Frederikssund, Denmark

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Sep 4;15(9):1926. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15091926.


There is evidence that the toll of death and destruction caused by natural hazards is rising. This is often ascribed to the impact of climate change that resulted in an increased frequency of extreme meteorological events. As a consequence, it is realistic to expect that the casualties and damages caused by floods will increase in the near future. Advanced weather forecast is a fundamental tool to predict the occurrence of floods and structural mitigation measures are crucial for flood protection. However, these strategies should be associate with tools to promote and increase natural-disaster awareness and nonstructural mitigation measures in the exposed population. To bridge this gap, we coupled innovative, ICT-based technologies with crowdsourcing. The idea is to exploit geospatial data gathered by citizens and volunteers with their own devices such as mobile phones to provide authorities with relevant information in case of flood emergencies. This paper describes the design and testing of an Android application named MAppERS (Mobile Applications for Emergency Response and Support), thought to enhance active participation and response of the population in territorial and flood-risk mitigation in Frederikssund, Denmark. The results of the piloting fully validate MAppERS as an effective tool to support the decision-making process during a crisis and to improve the awareness of the community and their disaster resilience.

Keywords: Android application; DG-ECHO; civil protection; flood risk; preparedness; prevention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Crowdsourcing / methods*
  • Denmark
  • Disaster Planning / methods*
  • Emergency Responders
  • Floods*
  • Humans
  • Mobile Applications*
  • Risk