are committed to supporting decisions of governmental agencies,
international and non-governmental organisations on risk from
earthquakes, as follows:
1. Specific tools for risk understanding and management
There will be two different versions of the OpenQuake risk assessment platform. An Expert suite is mainly meant for professionals and organisations with technical expertise, whereas the Essentials suite
is focused towards stakeholders that are in need of clear
information and hands-on tools to support risk understanding and
decisions. Users of both suites will however be connected through the
OpenQuake user-network to facilitate sharing or risk information and
2. Reaching beyond risk communication
The OpenQuake platform will integrate viewing of data, maps and statistics put together
by renowned experts, with the option to use tools that allow a user to
combine data, explore and understand risk, capture and contribute new
data. Users will be able to develop custom maps with the data of their
interest related to historical earthquakes, faults, geodetic strain,
exposure of people and buildings, damage of past earthquakes, with tools
to collect building data for use inside the platform and/or to enhance
GEM datasets, and with tools that support decision-making, in particular
3. Compatibility with existing tools
are working to ensure that the platform, tools and data-formats are
compatible with those being used by the disaster risk management
community. The OpenQuake platform allows users to work in an intuitive
GIS-environment. Users will be able to view and export data in a variety
of formats that are compatible with OCG standards (from csv to images
to geotiffs and google earth kml files). The platform is based on the
open-source Geonode framework, which is used by more and more disaster risk initiatives worldwide.
4. Collaboration with technical experts
risk management and mitigation requires reliable seismic hazard and
risk information. Because GEM is a global initiative, information can be
used initially mainly on a national and in some cases sub-national
level, whilst it is being enhanced through collaboration and
crowd-sourcing. For more specialized and detailed local hazard and risk
assessments, you would need to collaborate with local technical experts,
who can choose to use the OpenQuake Expert suite for
custom, local assessment. A growing group of technical experts in
countries around the globe is using the OpenQuake tools for advanced
assessment, supported by tutorials and trainings carried out by the
secretariat our partners to enhance local capacity. Users of the
Essential suite can work together with experts from government agencies,
universities or technical consultants in their area, and can connect
with technical users through the OpenQuake user-network.
5. Actionable information and tools
planning, risk and emergency management it is important to understand
how different buildings (schools, hospitals) are affected in case of an
earthquake, how many people are likely to be injured or could lose their
life, what the damage is to roads and other critical infrastructure.
Because GEM works on a global level, we will not have all that data in V1
of the platform. Data on injuries, loss and life and typologies of
buildings (masonry, adobe, concrete) are already included, and all
databases are built to store the other types of data. Through the capture tools
and individuals datasets that you and other users worldwide can submit
to GEM will we collectively be able to capture ever more of this data,
especially on local scales, for more informed decision-making.
6. Working together with disaster risk agencies and initiatives worldwide
Working together with our public and private members
The GEM Foundation consists of a growing group of public and private participants
who decide on the strategy of the foundation and guide the wider GEM
effort. Representatives on GEM’s Governing Board have either a
responsibility in producing seismic hazard and risk information, or in
managing and financing risk, or they support capacity building for risk
resilience around the globe. All bring their needs and experience to the
table, deciding together on effective steps and activities that are in
the interests of their stakeholders.
Working together with international agencies
Both through a the associate participants
of the GEM Foundation which include the Worldbank and OECD and through
separate collaborations, such as with the Global Assessment Report and
EERI, GEM links up with the needs and networks of international
organisations and the stakeholders they represent, supporting them where
7. Promoting risk mitigation
Online resources and information
will dedicate sections of the website to risk mitigation and
management. One section collects stories of how the OpenQuake platform
and tools and the risk information disseminated through it are being
used around the globe, and serves as best practice and inspiration for
others. Another part of the website will feature information about
earthquake hazard and risk and easy to understand maps and plots that
can be used without accessing the OpenQuake platform.
Participating in international events and fora
collaborators are active participants in the international debate on
risk assessment and risk resilience. As the first effort of this sort
that leverages global science for the benefit of society, we are keen on
discussing our efforts and on learning how we can improve to serve
needs even better.
If you are working in the field of DRM there are number of ways in which you can get involved in GEM before v1 of the OpenQuake platform is released (end 2014), and contribute to making GEM outputs serve you best.
- National agencies can become a public participant in the GEM Foundation and guide the GEM effort, bringing their needs and knowledge to the table.
- Collaborate with GEM’s global projects on data collection, in particular on building stock and population for the global exposure database, following the guidelines they are producing.
- Encourage the technical experts you work with to get familiar with GEM tools, such as the OpenQuake Engine
Write us if you have other ideas of how you think you can collaborate with the GEM effort. And of course we invite you to follow us.