An Investigation Into the Use of Geospatial Technologies As Part of Disaster Management Efforts Related To the Asian Tsunami of 2004

Robert William Redding Jr.


On the 26th of December, 2004, a tsunami impacted the countries surrounding the Indian Ocean, immediately killing over two hundred and eighty thousand people, displacing another million people, and initially causing at least US$10 billion in damage. The response by the international community was swift and massive. Disaster decision-makers who led their organization's responses to the tsunami used geospatial information to support their decision-making efforts with mixed success. When describing their use of geospatial technologies during the response, a select set of disaster decision-makers provided information about how they used geospatial information, they described what worked and what did not work to support their efforts. These disaster decision-makers' revelations include the need for information about the affected persons, the location and status of relief supplies and other resources, and the conditions of the terrain affected by the tsunami. Corroborated by documents produced by governments, academia, nongovernmental and international organizations, these information requirements are the basis for a logical model for a geographic information system that can be used to support a variety of disaster types.