WORKPAD: Process Management and Geo-Collaboration Help Disaster Response

WORKPAD: Process Management and Geo-Collaboration Help Disaster Response

Tiziana Catarci, Massimiliano de Leoni, Andrea Marrella, Massimo Mecella, Alessandro Russo, Renate Steinmann, Manfred Bortenschlager
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2788-8.ch003
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In complex emergency/disaster scenarios, persons from teams from various emergency-response organizations collaborate to achieve a common goal. In these scenarios, the use of smart mobile devices and applications can improve the collaboration dynamically. The lack of basic interaction principles can be dangerous, as it could increase the level of disaster or can make the efforts ineffective. This paper examines the main results of the project WORKPAD finished in December 2009. WORKPAD worked on a two-level architecture to support rescue operators during emergency management. The use of a user-centered design methodology during the entire development cycle has guaranteed that the architecture and resulting system meet end-user requirements. The feasibility of its use in real emergencies is also proven by a demonstration showcased with real operators. The paper includes qualitative and quantitative results and presents guidelines that can be useful in developing emergency-management systems.
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Due to the recent increase of safety threats like environmental disasters or terrorist attacks, Crisis Response has become a relevant application field for the development of new information technologies. In this context, team members need to collaborate in order to reach a common goal. The use of mobile devices and applications is valuable for the improvement of collaboration, coordination and communication amongst members of team(s) to achieve the desired goals. But there are also risks in the usage of mobile applications, e.g., decrease of performance. In emergency/disaster scenarios most of the tasks are highly critical and time demanding; for instance, in such scenarios the saving of minutes can result in saving people’s lives. Therefore it is unacceptable to use systems that lack proper interaction principles.

The European project WORKPAD (

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