GeoWeb and crisis management: issues and perspectives of volunteered geographic information

GeoJournal. 2013;78(1):21-40. doi: 10.1007/s10708-011-9423-9. Epub 2011 Jun 28.


Mapping, and more generally geopositioning, has become ubiquitous on the Internet. This democratization of geomatics through the GeoWeb results in the emergence of a new form of mapping based on Web 2.0 technologies. Described as Web-mapping 2.0, it is especially characterized by high interactivity and geolocation-based contents generated by users. A series of recent events (hurricanes, earthquakes, pandemics) have urged the development of numerous mapping Web applications intended to provide information to the public, and encourage their contribution to support crisis management. This new way to produce and spread geographic information in times of crisis brings up many questions and new potentials with regard to urgency services, Non Governmental Organisations (NGO), as well as individuals. This paper aims at putting into perspective the development of GeoWeb, both in terms of technologies and applications, against crisis management processes.

Keywords: Crisis management; Crowdsourcing; GeoWeb; Volunteered geographic information; Web 2.0.