Each year Australia is prone to potential negative and devastating impacts of bushfires and other natural hazards, highlighting the importance of community engagement in disaster risk reduction. Volunteered geographic information (VGI) is an emerging technology that allows members of the public to voluntarily contribute geographic information, predominantly through sources such as social media, photo and video sharing platforms, and online map-making software.
This publication demonstrates potential for VGI and associated technologies to be useful in fostering bushfire preparation, but approaches using VGI should not replace traditional methods of bushfire communication and engagement. With increasing access to and familiarity of social media and VGI in communities, it is timely to understand how they can act as a complimentary mechanism for increasing preparedness. The efficacy of these enabling technologies to facilitate greater community awareness, connectedness and collaborative action needs to be evaluated.
Australian Journal of Emergency Management, Volume 30, Number 3, July 2015, Pages 36-41. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.