Conceptualizing a user-support task structure for geocollaborative disaster management environments

Etien L. Koua, Alan M. MacEachren, Ian Turton, Brian Tomaszewski, Tim Frazier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (SciVal)


Disaster management is capturing increasing attention from researchers across many disciplines (geography, sociology, operations research, and a range of other social, environmental, and information sciences). In geographic information science, important research efforts are targeting better collection and analysis of geospatial data on disasters, representation of risks and vulnerability, integration of physical processes and social models to enhance the prediction of hazard impact, and a range of information access, analysis, and problem-solving tools that support individual and joint work across the disaster management process. This chapter provides a framework for the design of geocollaborative environments. These environments are intended to support disaster management activities, through group interaction and collaboration that is enabled by access to relevant geographic information through geographic information technologies designed to support group as well as individual work. We propose that the design of geocollaborative environments requires a focus on cognitive models for task representation, dialogue design, and workflow (action, actor, object, and tool). The framework outlined is based on the conceptualization and characterization of disaster management tasks and operations, and is the basis for the structuring of people/roles, data/information, resources, tasks, and specific tools needed to support each task. The framework is then used as the basis for modeling user tasks; specifically, this modeling is used to structure the design of geocollaborative environments in a way that can facilitate group collaboration through access and sharing of heterogeneous data and information derived from it, shared geographic and concept maps and annotations of both, and the overall coordination of operations. A resulting prototype system and interface is described; the system was developed specifically to support collaborative activities and dialogue, enhance awareness among collaborators, and provide support for group memory by linking information resources and enabling shared knowledge and collaboration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInformation Systems for Emergency Management
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781317467960
ISBN (Print)9780765621344
StatePublished - Dec 18 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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