GDACS Data Platform
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Access event-specific resources such as links, images, shapefiles, KML files, WMS services and RSS feeds in several ways:

Resources can be accessed directly by specifying parameters in the URL. Examples:

Individual resources can be accessed through a proxy interface, which resolves identifiers of various organisations. Knowing the GDACS resource identifiers (resourceId), the proxy will redirect to the resource if it is available. Examples:

KML and RSS API

The KML or RSS API can be used to access the data. Cached versions of these are available at the following urls:

A list of the most common feeds are available at the following url:

The other specific feeds can be request at info@gdacs.org.

 About the GDACS data platform
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GDACS is a collaboration platform with the aim of sharing information in an effective and interoperable manner enabling advanced analysis by computer models or expert moderators to derive targeted information for planning emergency response operations. In the first phases of GDACS, a lot of data sharing went on behind the scenes with dedicated interfaces and mechanisms. The focused was on creating working algorithms for multi-hazard impact assessment, often at the cost of standard interfaces and open, interoperable approaches. However, for a sustainable, flexible and scalable system, openness and interoperability is key, and should be at the core of GDACS.

From this experience in the first 5 years of running GDACS impact assessment algorithms, JRC developed a generic event-based data sharing platform able to capture the many ways organisations are publishing data for disaster events.

The key principles are:

  • Event centric. Information must be related first and foremost to an actual disaster event. An event is an ill-defined concept, which depends on the context. An earthquake aftershock is a different phenomenon for a seismologist, but is the same disaster event for a responder. In GDACS, events are used in the context of responders, i.e. a disaster with a single response and/or funding action.
     
  • Episodes. In order to match events with physical phenomena or measures, GDACS uses the concept of episodes. Episodes are individual measures of a phenomenon at a given time by a given organisation. For earthquakes, several seismological institutes provide increasingly accurate characterisations of an earthquake: these are earthquake episodes. For a tropical cyclone, every 6 hours a new advisory is published: these are cyclone episodes.
     
  • Identifiers. Because of the multi-disciplinary nature of disaster monitoring, many organisations are involved, each with their own taxonomy, vocabulary, data structures and event identifiers. GDACS has long supported a unique event identifier proposed by GLIDE, but this system is unfortunately not the holy grail. Instead, GDACS now automatically compiles and publishes links between identifiers. GDACS information can be found by using any identifier type, including GLIDE. A look-up service is available. Examples:
  • Resource templates. While different organisations use different standards for publishing data, most data and information is available at well structured URLs, often using in-house identifiers or characteristics of an event (such as time, location, country, etc.). GDACS stores resource templates specific to contributing organisations, so it can translate these into fully qualified URLs for individual events and/or episodes. This is a core function of the GDACS platform. Some examples are:
    • NEIC Shakemaps: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/shakemap/global/shake/{identifiers.value:identifierid='neicid'|~2,8}/
      download/intensity.jpg
    • UNOSAT maps per country: http://www.unitar.org/unosat/maps/{iso3}
       
  • Resources. Besides the templated resources, individual, event-specific resources can be stored too.

 

 GDACS Platform
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Would you like to share your information through GDACS?

Please contact us for information on how to include your resources in GDACS, and make them available to the whole GDACS community.