Participative GIS for Natural Risk Assessment and Disaster Relief Using Satellite Navigation and Free Software

Arlei Benedito Macedo, Alex Joci dos Santos, Fábio Rodrigo de Oliveira, Isis Sacramento da Silva, Fabrício Bau Dalmas, Gilberto Cugler

SIG-Riscos (Risk-GIS) is a distributed, mobile, participative GIS consisting of a central database and a municipal GIS installed on mobile computers. It allows civil defense workers to make their own maps, monitor risk areas and report disasters to central coordinators of mitigation measures. It can be adapted to any satellite navigation system. By educating civil defense workers, it can also enable them to guide the population in disaster situations and update the GIS. Risk-GIS was made by the Ribeira Valley GIS technical group. Available on a free-access website, the system is a public service that uses free gvSIG software, satellite images, and vector files of area maps to form local GIS. Local governments are the target market. There are 5,561 municipalities in Brazil and many more in other countries that need a practical system to deal with risk assessment and natural disaster management. The potential market is large due to the growing concern with natural disasters; in Brazil, recent federal regulations have mandated risk assessment and plans for disaster prevention and mitigation for all municipalities. The prototype is ready and running in 23 municipalities.