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  • Understanding risk: review of open source and open access software packages available to quantify risk from natural hazards
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Understanding risk: review of open source and open access software packages available to quantify risk from natural hazards

Source(s):  Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, the (GFDRR)

This document presents an objective analysis of freely available hazard and risk modelling software in order to facilitate selection of appropriate tools for various disaster risk management activities, in risk identification, mapping (geographic information systems), etc. The analysis covers hazard risk models for cyclone (wind), storm surge and tsunami, earthquake, and flood.

Over 80 open access software packages—excluding commercial software packages—were considered in the evaluation. The detailed analysis evaluated the models on the basis of over 100 criteria and provided a synopsis of available open access natural hazard risk modelling tools.

This review is a technical document intended for a technical audience. It aims to highlight modelling tools’ strengths (for example, sophisticated graphical user interfaces, straightforward installation, frequent updates, and capacity for customization). It also highlights some of the challenges that a user of a modelling tool might face (for example, complicated installation or poor documentation), though as modelling tools are updated, they may address the challenges identified here.

This review provides initial guidance to users on the appropriateness of the various modelling tools for specific purposes, and offers an introduction to the connectivity that is possible between models. Finally, the document highlights where collaborative efforts between modelling tool developers could substantially improve our current understanding of risk.



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  • Understanding risk: review of open source and open access software packages available to quantify risk from natural hazards
  • Publication date 2014
  • Author(s) Daniell, James; Simpson, Alanna; Gunasekara, Rashmin; Baca, Abigail; Schaefer, Andreas; Ishizawa, Oscar; Murnane, Richard; Tijssen, Annegien; Deparday, Vivien; Forni, Marc; Nunez, Ariel; Himmelfarb, Anne
  • Number of pages 72 p.

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