The contribution of multi-level geospatial information to assessing urban social vulnerability to earthquakes

Research output: Working paper


In the context of disaster risk management and in particular for exposure and impact assessments modeling, input data quality, both in terms of the degree of spatial and thematic accuracy and reliability, is one of the most important factors. Especially in an urban setting, mapping and analysis of population exposure is crucial for the assessment of the social dimension of vulnerability and is usually considered the starting point. Integration of social structure and varying aspects of resilience would then further differentiate situation-specific vulnerability patterns on a local scale. Census data available in inhomogeneous spatial reference units are considered the standard information input for assessing potentially affected people, e.g. in case of an emergency. Raster representations meet the existing strong demand on population data that are independent from administrative areas but are not yet available globally in both spatial and thematic consistency. In this paper we will thus explore multi-level geospatial information available from global to local scales and featuring varying temporal characteristics and also highlight recent technology-driven developments. We will provide an overview of concepts and applications in the social vulnerability domain, illustrating the varying scales and dimensions and the related implications considered in an urban earthquake context.
Original languageUnknown
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

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