Big data in natural disaster management: A review

Manzhu Yu, Chaowei Yang, Yun Li

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

216 Scopus citations


Undoubtedly, the age of big data has opened new options for natural disaster management, primarily because of the varied possibilities it provides in visualizing, analyzing, and predicting natural disasters. From this perspective, big data has radically changed the ways through which human societies adopt natural disaster management strategies to reduce human suffering and economic losses. In a world that is now heavily dependent on information technology, the prime objective of computer experts and policy makers is to make the best of big data by sourcing information from varied formats and storing it in ways that it can be effectively used during different stages of natural disaster management. This paper aimed at making a systematic review of the literature in analyzing the role of big data in natural disaster management and highlighting the present status of the technology in providing meaningful and effective solutions in natural disaster management. The paper has presented the findings of several researchers on varied scientific and technological perspectives that have a bearing on the efficacy of big data in facilitating natural disaster management. In this context, this paper reviews the major big data sources, the associated achievements in different disaster management phases, and emerging technological topics associated with leveraging this new ecosystem of Big Data to monitor and detect natural hazards, mitigate their effects, assist in relief efforts, and contribute to the recovery and reconstruction processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number165
JournalGeosciences (Switzerland)
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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