Articles | Volume 11, issue 1
05 Jan 2011
 | 05 Jan 2011

The PREVIEW Global Risk Data Platform: a geoportal to serve and share global data on risk to natural hazards

G. Giuliani and P. Peduzzi

Abstract. With growing world population and concentration in urban and coastal areas, the exposure to natural hazards is increasing and results in higher risk of human and economic losses. Improving the identification of areas, population and assets potentially exposed to natural hazards is essential to reduce the consequences of such events. Disaster risk is a function of hazard, exposure and vulnerability. Modelling risk at the global level requires accessing and processing a large number of data, from numerous collaborating centres.

These data need to be easily updated, and there is a need for centralizing access to this information as well as simplifying its use for non GIS specialists. The Hyogo Framework for Action provides the mandate for data sharing, so that governments and international development agencies can take appropriate decision for disaster risk reduction.

Timely access and easy integration of geospatial data are essential to support efforts in Disaster Risk Reduction. However various issues in data availability, accessibility and integration limit the use of such data. In consequence, a framework that facilitate sharing and exchange of geospatial data on natural hazards should improve decision-making process. The PREVIEW Global Risk Data Platform is a highly interactive web-based GIS portal supported by a Spatial Data Infrastructure that offers free and interoperable access to more than 60 global data sets on nine types of natural hazards (tropical cyclones and related storm surges, drought, earthquakes, biomass fires, floods, landslides, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions) and related exposure and risk. This application portrays an easy-to-use online interactive mapping interface so that users can easily work with it and seamlessly integrate data in their own data flow using fully compliant OGC Web Services (OWS).