HSenSIG, May 2015

Human Sensor and Geographic Information Systems for Disaster Risk Management (HSenSIG)

Host Institution: Institute for Systems Engineering and Computers at Coimbra (University of Coimbra, Portugal)

Dates: 11-15 May 2015



The training school included lectures, given by experts, and workshops, which enabled interaction and experimentation. A publication was also prepared, to provide reference material for the participants in the training school.

The school provided training to participants to produce valuable VGI for Disaster Risk Management, giving the trainees feedback on the quality of their outcomes. It also enabled the testing of methodologies on data collection with the trainees. This enabled the expansion and enrichment of the community that may be engaged constructively in mapping Disaster Risk Management.

Specific Outputs and Outcomes

The training school:

1) produced a publication to provide reference material for volunteers to act as human sensors for Disaster Risk Management;
2) enabled the testing of methodologies to improve the volunteers’ performance;
3) enlarged the community of potential contributors with valuable information for Disaster Risk Management.

Preliminary Program

Monday May 11th

  • Course Opening – Dr. Cidália Fonte, Dr. Alberto Cardoso, Dr. José Paulo Almeida
  • VGI for Disaster Risk Management – Dr. João Porto Albuquerque
    Introductory sessions and preparation of field work – Dr. Norman Kerle, Dr. Sonia Sousa
  • Presentation by the city of Coimbra Civil Protection Authority – Eng. Joana Lopes

Tuesday May 12th

  • VGI for Disaster Risk Management: rapid damage assessment – Dr. João Albuquerque, Dr. Alberto Cardoso
    Field work and simulacrum by Coimbra Civil Protection Authority
    Data analysis and validation – Dr. João Porto Albuquerque, Dr. Cidália Fonte, Dr. Alberto Cardoso

Wednesday May 13th

  • Combining information from physical and human sensors for Disaster Management
    Visit to the Mondego and Ceira River basins where floods occur regularly
    Field work with VGI and the physical sensors: simulation of a real time application – Dr. Alberto Cardoso

Thursday May 14th

  • Image based damage mapping with VGI – Introduction and Guidelines – Dr. Norman Kerle, Dr. Sonia Sousa
    Introductory sessions and practical work on image labelling by volunteers – Dr. Norman Kerle, Dr. Sonia Sousa
  • Open session at the local headquarters of the Portugal’s engineers professional order in Coimbra – Dr. João Porto Albuquerque, Dr. Alberto Cardoso, Dr. Norman Kerle

Friday May 15th

  • Image labelling by volunteers for damage assessment – Dr. Norman Kerle, Dr. Sonia Sousa
  • Validation of image labelling by volunteers for damage assessment – Dr. Norman Kerle, Dr. Sonia Sousa
  • Plenary discussion and workshop on VGI – Dr. Norman Kerle, Dr. Sonia Sousa
    Volunteers motivation and participation
  • Closing session
Invited speaker
  • Prof. João Porto Albuquerque, Department of Computer Systems, Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science of University of São Paulo, Brazil
  • Prof. Alberto Cardoso, Dep. of Informatics Engineering, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Coimbra, Portugal
  • Prof. Cidália Fonte, Dep. of Mathematics, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Coimbra, Portugal
  • Prof. Norman Kerle, Faculty of Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation, University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands
  • Dr. Sonia Sousa, Tallinn University, Tallinn, Estonia
  • Alexandra Maria Galvão Ribeiro – Portugal
  • Amin Mobasheri – Germany
  • Benjamin Herfort – Germany
  • Carlos Alexandre Lourenço dos Santos – Portugal
  • Carolina Arias Muñoz – Italy
  • Daniele Oxoli – Italy
  • Jaap-Willem Sjoukema – The Netherlands
  • João Pedro Santos Massano de Matos – Portugal
  • José de Jesus Gaspar – Portugal
  • Mariana Madruga de Brito – Germany
  • Noushin Barzanouni – Germany
  • Pedro Alexandre Reis Sarmento – Portugal
  • Pierangelo Massa – Italy
  • Raffaele Gallo – Italy
  • Roberta Floris – Italy
  • Sara Mura- Italy
  • Susana da Costa Freiria – Portugal
  • Tanya Cristina de Jesus Esteves – Portugal
  • Teresa Alexandra Amaro Lopes Cravo da Fonseca – Portugal
  • Valentina Cerutti – The Netherlands

There were 25 participants from 6 countries of which 5 were EU countries who participated in the meeting.

The training school details can be downloaded from here.


The following paper has been produced as an output of the workshop:

How volunteered geographic information can be integrated into emergency management practice? First lessons learned from an urban fire simulation in the city of Coimbra [pdf]
João Porto de Albuquerque, Cidália C. Fonte (PT), J.-P. de Almeida and Alberto Cardoso