Inderscience Publishers

Human-GIS interaction issues in crisis response

Geospatial information systems (GIS) provide a central infrastructure for computer supported crisis management in terms of database, analytical models and visualisation tools, but the user interfaces of such systems are still hard to use, and do not address the special needs of crisis managers who often work in teams and make judgements and decisions under stress. This paper articulates the overall challenges for effective GIS interfaces to support crisis management in three dimensions: immediacy, relevance and sharing. These three requirements are addressed by an integrated approach, taking a human-GIS interaction perspective. To demonstrate the feasibility of this approach, we cite our prototype system, DAVE_G (Dialogue-Assisted Visual Environment for Geoinformaton), as an example. DAVE_G uses a large screen display to create a shared workspace among team members, and allows risk managers to interact with a GIS through natural multimodal (speech/gesture) dialogues.

Keywords: dialogue management, geographical information systems, geovisualisation, human-computer interaction, HCI, GIS interfaces, multimodal interface, speech, gesture, crisis response, crisis management, emergency management, user interface, risk management, group collaboration, teamwork, human interactions, geospatial information, communication

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