Location-based analytics to support disaster response after Sulawesi tsunami-quake

Oct 23, 2018

The Emergency Spatial Support Centre of leading geospatial solutions provider Esri Indonesia has developed a cutting-edge smart mapping portal that aims to support disaster relief efforts for the Palu-Donggala earthquake and tsunami aftermath.

Speaking at the high-level Senior Leaders Forum at Shangri-La hotel today, Esri Indonesia CEO Dr. A Istamar said the smart mapping portal is expected to provide actionable insights needed by disaster relief agencies to efficiently mobilise limited resources and optimise supply routes for relief goods. “Responding to a disaster and helping towns recover is a massive task which requires the ability to process authoritative data from different agencies, analyse and provide timely decision support system,” Dr. Istamar said.

"As such, we are providing ready-to-deploy mapping applications using authoritative data from Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG), National Geospatial Information Agency (BIG), National Institute of Aeronotics and Space (LAPAN), Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Public Works and Housing, Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB ), crowdsourcing data from University of Gajah Mada (UGM) and image analytic from Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) to ensure complete situational awareness,” he said.

The smart mapping portal features a library of interactive web applications and operational dashboards which features the number of buildings and infrastructure impacted, affected population and their demography, a before and after satellite imagery comparison, dashboard of available hospitals evacuation centers and live reports from social media.

Furthermore, it also provides data required for earthquake vulnerability analysis and other critical data such as map-based data service for geology formation, geology structure, soil formation and fault line which are essential for policy makers to determine areas that are safer for settlements.

“When every second counts and the stakes are high, the disaster response and relief community need to make decisions driven by accurate and updated authoritative data. It is amazing how GIS users in Indonesia have quickly responded and collaborated to provide essential spatial data during this difficult time,” Dr. Istamar said.

With the smart mapping portal, Dr. Istamar shared that disaster relief agencies can immediately visualise communities affected and critical infrastructures that were damaged thereby helping decision-makers create comprehensive plans for search and rescue operations.

“In addition, since the smart mapping portal is the fruit of a collaborative effort between various government agencies, it is now the single source of truth on data needed to support disaster response and relief efforts on the ground,” he explained. 

“It single-handedly eliminated the challenge of having decision-makers looking at different versions of data on the same scenario. Because of the smart mapping portal, all stakeholders are all on the same page and have the same level of situational awareness.”

Delivering a keynote speech at the same event, Prof Dwikorita Karnawati, Head of BMKG highlighted her agency’s commitment in continuously increasing its services to provide information related to weather, climate, air quality as well as earthquake and tsunami, integrated in spatial data. “Our agency is fully committed to embracing spatial technology and geo-science in providing information to policy makers, emergency responders, and the public throughout all phases of the mission in order to make the best decisions at the point of aid,” Dwikorita said.

The Esri Indonesia Emergency Spatial Support Centre is a disaster response program that equips relevant government agencies with the collaborative situational awareness needed to facilitate effective and coordinated emergency response. 

The smart mapping app can be viewed at: esscpalu.maps.arcgis.com