WebGIS as boundary tools between scientific geoinformation and disaster risk reduction action in volcanic areas
Abstract. As the amount of spatial data is growing, there is increased interest in developing tools to explore, visualize and interpret them, with the final aim of informing decision making efficiently. Within the European MIAVITA project, we examined this issue in the case of volcanic areas, where existing geospatial databases are particularly complex due to the number of threats to be considered, including volcanic (e.g. lava flows, ash fall) and non-volcanic hazards, such as landslides or tsunamis. We involved a group of hazard and risk analysts and managers, civil security officers, GIS analysts and system developers to design a Web-based geographical information system (WebGIS). We tested the system at the Mount Cameroon volcano, taking advantage of a complex hazard and risk geographical database. This study enabled identifying key requirements for such tools in volcanic areas, such as the need to manage user privileges differently according to their profile and the status of the volcano. This work also highlights that, in addition to the development of large geoinformation clearinghouses, there is a need for site-specific information systems focused on working procedures of users, in order to fill the last gap between data producers and users.