|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Interactive Tool for Accessing Disaster Data Launched in Geneva
GENEVA, 21 May (United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction) — With the touch of a finger, users of a new tool for disaster risk communication that was launched today in Geneva can access real-time weather data or check historical disaster patterns. The tool, known as “GAR for Tangible Earth” because its main digital interface is a touch-sensitive globe, uses earth science data from the 2013 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction, released earlier this month by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).
Tablet computer users can download the application for free from iTunes. By scanning QR-coded icons that represent the subjects covered by the report, they can browse data directly and access a wide array of functionalities, from risk scenario design to modelling and projections. Users can, for example, request hourly weather updates or query the probability of seismic events for a given region. They can also make correlations between such phenomena as continental drift, El Niño, global warming and the growth of megacities.
The application, developed by Earth Literacy Program, is open-source, using a common graphic language accessible to any number of data sources, such as national weather agencies. A heuristic, cognitive tool, it is expected to be of great interest to geospatial researchers. Its launch in Geneva this week, during the fourth session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, marks a new stage in an ongoing collaboration between UNISDR and the application’s developers. It places science and technology at the service of disaster risk reduction — one of the key messages of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction that has been meeting here this week.
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