Home Articles Impediments to developing a local Collaborative Geospatial Data Infrastructure for supporting disaster...

Impediments to developing a local Collaborative Geospatial Data Infrastructure for supporting disaster management in Yogyakarta post 27 May 2006 earthquake disaster

PB Santosa, LS Heliani, IMA Arsana, Subaryono, TAK Muhammad
Department of Geodetic and Geomatic Engineering
Gadjah Mada University, INDONESIA
Email: [email protected]

Abstract
Since the earthquake disaster that struck Yogyakarta and Central Java, Indonesia on 27 May 2006, the issue of Geospatial infrastructure has become central. From the disaster event, it has been observed that the lack of geospatial data availability and access has caused inefficient and uncoordinated disaster response to the disaster conducted by agencies and community. This condition has motivated this research to develop a local collaborative geospatial data infrastructure (CGeoSDI) which will be accessible by related agencies, referred to as collaborators, and effective in facilitating coordination in response to a disaster. This paper examines and evaluates aspects and existing condition contribute to the process of developing the system. Examination and evaluation is based on five components i.e. people, access network, policy, standards, and data. Results show that there are some impediments in developing this system. Issues related to these components need to be taken into account in developing this system, and some improvements need to be conducted to them in order to be able to successfully develop and employ the system for real actions.

1. Introduction
An earthquake that hit Yogyakarta and Central Java, Indonesia, on 27 may 2006 devastated not only infrastructures and other structures but also killed many lives as well as tear down casualties’ emotion. It was an example of one of the most devastating disaster after the Aceh and North Sumatera Tsunami on 26 December 2004. Based history, Indonesia has been regarded as the one of the most vulnerable countries to natural disasters. A report from www.mapreport.com reveals that 10 occurrences of catastrophic natural disaster have been recorded as per 19 July 2006 in the last six years. Knowing this condition, it is inevitable for Indonesia to seriously search for technologies to deal with natural disasters.

From other countries experiences, geospatial data and its related technologies have shown important role in disaster management. The California GIS Strategic Plan, for example, states that geographic location matters when it comes to meeting citizen needs. "Geospatial data can be used to strategically situate emergency services resources throughout the state, to track the status of these resources during large or multiple events, and to efficiently dispatch personnel and equipment where they are needed most" (CGISP, 2005). More specifically, geospatial data and its related technologies can provide significant contributions for disaster management teams in dealing with the disaster preparedness, response and recovery tasks.

From the past disaster events, especially the Yogyakarta and Central Java earthquake on 27 May 2006 and the Aceh tsunami on 26 December 2004, Indonesia (hopefully) has learned that the lack of coordination and collaboration between the agencies and relief teams could generate some inefficient actions in response to disasters. These are, for example, the delays in aids deliveries, overlapping of health assistances, and failures to pass on disaster alerts.

It has been identified that ineffective utilization of geospatial data is one of the reasons behind this situation. In fact, Geospatial data may be available but there is usually no coordination in their utilization. This condition is worsen by the fact that Indonesian infrastructure of geospatial resources at national and local levels are inaccessible. Consequently, parties/agencies concerned with disaster management initiate their own efforts on data acquisition, access, and dissemination in a sporadic way. In absence of a geospatial infrastructure, responsible agencies lack integrated decision supports to process incoming data and information into sound knowledge for actions.

2. GIS and disaster management
Disaster can be defined as the onset of an extreme event causing profound damage or loss as perceived by the afflicted people (ESRI, 2006). A complete strategy for disaster management is required to effectively reduce the impact of natural disaster, which is as referred to as disaster management cycle. According to Baraji et al (2006), disaster management is nothing but skillful ways and methods of controlling a disaster. A complete strategy for disaster management is required to effectively reduce the impact of natural disaster, which is as referred to as disaster management cycle. When we talk of effective disaster management, a sequential series of actions should be implemented.

The significant role of GIS in disaster management has been proven by many researchers for many years. In this area, GIS has been used not only for providing geospatial data, but also for supporting disaster-related decision making process. One of the practical examples is shown by Banerjee et al. (2003) who utilized geomatics for both disaster prevention and preparedness. The last includes disaster relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction. He elaborates that GIS is used to manage the large volume of data needed for the hazard and risk assessment in disaster prevention phase. Meanwhile, in disaster preparedness phase, GIS can be used as a tool for the planning of evacuation routes, design of centers for emergency operations, and integration of satellite data with other relevant data in the establishment of disaster warning systems.

In a similar vein, Chiroiu et al. (2001) demonstrates the use of high-resolution satellite imagery for the earthquake damage assessment and confirms that multidisciplinary approach combining remote sensing techniques, spatial analysis and earthquake engineering enable people to quickly estimate physical loss due to natural disasters. The authors further explained that “the information can be integrated into a GIS database and transferred via satellite networks or Internet to the rescue teams deployed on the affected zone”. This information would be then received by the field operators in order to co-ordinate the emergency operations.

With regards to Jogjakarta and Central Java Earthquake, one of the most recent researches concerning the use of geomatic technology (i.e. GIS and Remote Sensing) was conducted by the Center for Environmental Remote Sensing (CEReS) in collaboration with the Department of Geodetic and Geomatic Engineering Gadjah Mada University, Bandung Institute of Technology, and the National Institute of Oceanography – India. The research’s aim is to do the inventory of damaged infrastructures in Yogyakarta in the aftermath of the earthquake on 27 May 2006. The research team collected and analyzed ground data, aerial photographs, and satellite images of the disaster prone area. The information collected, during field study, is used to establish the inventory of damaged structures (Sumantyo et al., 2006).

3. Geospatial Data Infrastructure
A GeoSpatial Data Infrastructure (GeoSDI) is a framework of spatial data, metadata, users and tools that are interactively connected in order to use spatial data in an efficient and flexible way (ANZLIC, 1996; FDGC, 1997; GSDI, 1997). Further, Mansourian et al (2004) state that in principle, SDIs allow the sharing of data, which is extremely useful, as it enables users to save resources, time and effort when trying to acquire new datasets by avoiding duplication of expenses associated with generation and maintenance of data and their integration with other datasets. Yet, Collaborative GeoSDI is understood as an integrated, multi-leveled hierarchy of interconnected SDIs based on collaboration and partnerships among different stakeholders.

With regard to coordination, specifically in Indonesia, it seems that each party tends to work independently focusing on their own interest. One of the reasons behind this situation is because such infrastructures at national and local levels are inaccessible or missing. The fact that there are many web-based Geographic Information Systems for Yogyakarta Earthquake produced by different institutions in Yogyakarta is one of evidences that there is lack of coordination in geospatial data management. Therefore, it would be better if there is a system (Collaborative GeoSDI) to facilitate coordination among related parties/agencies in order to produce an application with better functionality and meet the needs of people more comprehensively.

4. Study Location
Yogyakarta which is bounded between latitude 7032’33”S and 8012’5” S and longitude 11000’18” E and 110050’14” E is located in Java Island, Indonesia. Merapi volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, is located on the northern side of the province, whereas Hindia Ocean is on the south. Three natural disasters which are serious threat to the region are earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruption. The most shocking event was a strong (Mw 6.4) and shallow (10 km bsl) earthquake that hit the Yogyakarta region on 27 May 2006. Within the same year, the volcanic eruption cycle which are started in March 2006 and a period of intensive activities lasted from May to July 2006 have also attracted national and international attention.


Figure 1. Study site: Yogyakarta, Indonesia
5. GeoSpatial Data Infrastructure: Existing condition
In supporting disaster management activities, GeoSDI is essential for facilitating, sharing and providing spatial-related data. The experiences show that the absence of GeoSDI has caused the collaborative works between organizations can not be conducted effectively and efficiently due to the problem in accessing geospatial data. Figure 2 shows the data flow between users and data providers or institutions involved in the collaboration in Yogyakarta Province. There are three types of users’ need concerning data and information: 1) users to view information; 2) users to get data; and 3) users to provide data. Within the current system, viewing information can be conducted in two ways, either searches for information through the internet or users come in person to data providers. However, not all the data providers involved in this collaboration have website. For this situation, accessing the information to these institutions has to be done by direct contact. Similarly, direct contact also required in getting data from and providing data to the institutions. The lack use of internet for this sort of data communication between users and collaborators has been one of the main causes of the inefficient and ineffective usage of geospatial data.


Figure 2 Existing condition of data flows between users and data providers.
6. Collaborative GeoSpatial Data Infrastructure: proposed design
Based on conditions described in Figure 2, this research proposes a new system named Collaborative GeoSpatial Data Infrastructure (CGeoSDI) that can be used to share geospatial data in a more efficient and effective way. The main purpose of the CGeoSDI is to facilitate coordination and group work in disaster management. To accommodate this purpose, a system has been designed based on Geographic Information System (GIS) and internet technology. GIS is particularly used to collect, manage, process or analyze, and visualize data and information. Internet technology is necessarily utilized to conduct data communication between parties, such as uploading, downloading and sharing data, so that the established system is accessible by parties concerned in disaster management in order to enhance coordination.


Figure 3 CGeoSDI institutional framework design.
Figure 3 shows a schematic diagram of the proposed system design, whereas Figure 4 shows the proposed schematic web-based data flows among users and institutions. It can be seen from Figure 3 that CGeoSDI is the central part of the system, in which all parties or agencies dealing with the disaster management activities access the system through internet. All other parties or agencies have different interest and access level to the system which are shown from the lines connecting them to the CGeoSDI. Bappeda (Local agency for Development and Planning), BMG (Meteorological and Geophysical Agency), Vulcanological Agency, BID (Local Information Bureau) and UGM have reciprocal relationship in accessing the system as shown from the two directional arrows (single line). This type of relationship gives full access to the agencies to upload, download, share and update the data.

One directional arrow (double lines) which are occupied by Bakosurtanal (National Coordination Agency for Surveys and Mapping) and BPS (Statistical Central Bureau) show their roles in supplying and providing necessary data to support the CGeoSDI. Even though these two agencies are not granted direct access to the system, their roles are important since Bakosurtanal and BPS produce spatial and non spatial data respectively. One directional arrow shows the data and information flow from one party to the other. This type of relationship is occupied by users (Government, Community and NGOs) and Police and Satkorlak (Operational Coordinating Unit). In this case, particularly for users, the data and information flow is divided into two different forms. Users can either directly access data (raw data) which is stored in the CGeoSDI server, or directly access information (pre-processed data) from BID. However, the other parties can also access pre-processed information from BID even though the connection lines are not drawn in the diagram. Furthermore, in emergency situation, Users and Police and Satkorlak can be granted limited special privileges to access the CGeoSDI server for uploading data and information. This sort of relationship is illustrated by one directional arrow (dashed line).


Figure 4 Proposed schematic web-based data flows between users and institutions.
To support the proposed CGeoSDI system, database availability of both spatial and non-spatial database which are managed in proper database management systems are important. This database management system facilitates parties in question with database availability for conducting activities related to disaster management. Due to dynamic nature of emergency situation, required data for disaster response should be collected regularly in order to be available for decision-makers. However, due to variety of required data, one single organization cannot handle exclusively the collection and maintenance of all required data for disaster response. As a result, collection and maintenance of required geospatial data for disaster response should be conducted based on collaborative effort of different organizations for geospatial data collection and updating.

7. Technical and non-technical aspects in developing the CGeoSDI
There are several aspects need to be considered in developing such a GeoSDI. These aspects can be grouped into five different components (Rajabifard et. al., 2003; Steudler, 2003), namely: people, data, access network, standards, and policy. Access network, policy, and standards are main technological component that facilitate the interaction between people and dataset. This type of interaction and relationship is dynamic due to the change of people’s lifestyle and needs.

1). People
With regard to the people’ growing needs, use and awareness to geospatial data, data availability and better service to the access of geospatial data for different application is required. In this context, people with adequate knowledge and skills of GIS, IT and internet, as well as other related areas are the key success to the development and maintenance of a GeoSDI. These skillful people have to be able to facilitate the interaction between people (users) and data (data custodians) within the framework of particular policy, standards, and access network.

A barrier that may have prevented the development and implementation of the CGeoSDI in Yogyakarta is the limited number of people who: understand the importance of CGeoSDI; know the concept and application of GeoSDI; as well as the limited number of people who are skillful to GIS and IT and internet.

2). Data
The required datasets need to be easily integrated and are interoperable with each decision-makers’ systems for real-time use. This is achieved by utilization of common and appropriate standards and specifications for data collection and sharing in the mentioned collaborative effort. However, the problem of data interoperability is not trivial, since it involves more than data standards and specifications. There are different technical, institutional, political, and social issues that create barriers for such participation to occur. With this in mind, by creating an environment in which such issues are taken into consideration.

Consequently the access of decision-makers to geospatial data can be facilitated. The concept of partnership in data production and sharing can become a reality. In this respect, the developed CGeoSDI is expected to be an initiative in geospatial data management with related concepts and models, and can be used as a framework for creating such an environment and, ultimately, facilitating disaster response.

In order to be able to comply with the data interoperability standard, available data which requires technical standard criteria is the main requirement for this component. Besides that, the condition of data which is relevant to the certain operability level is the main consideration in developing database. In this context, several aspects which are important to define data include: data format, data acquisition method, main dataset definition, data maintenance and management, data quality (positional accuracy, attribute accuracy, temporal accuracy, logical accuracy, and data completeness) and metadata. In a specific geospatial data application, such as cadastral data, some of the aspects above have been defined clearly. For example, National Land Agency through Ministerial Decree has published Technical Guidance no 3 year 1997 (Juknis PMNA no 3 tahun 1997) that defines data format, main dataset definition and the other aspects for cadastral data.

Data format that support adequate data interoperability concepts should be put as the priority in developing such a GeoSDI systems. However, in a broader application, data format has not been defined clearly either at national or local level.

3). Access Networks
In technical perspective, access network is important for facilitating the use of data by people. More specifically, access network is needed to facilitate data transfer between data suppliers and users, and between different users. In this context, computer network or internet is believed to be the main requirement that need to be fulfilled to support the success of these tasks. The components of access networks include: network availability, type of the network, data access speed, data access privileges, mechanism and procedure of data transfer, data confidentiality, and network maintenance procedure.

The use and development of IT and internet in Indonesia has been growing very significantly in the last decade. Many national or local institutions have used website to publish them. However, the use of internet has not been used as an interface for such a GeoSDI. As a result, access to geospatial data is not facilitated by internet. Searching for such geospatial data has to be done manually by contacting particular institution which keeps the data.

4). Standards
In order to be able to support collaborative works between different agencies, the subject of interoperability has been the major issues raised by many researchers. As stated by Phillips et al. (1999), interoperability is one of the main parts of SDI, which is an implemented standard and procedure that allows the data transfer and access through electronic networks. In Indonesia, besides the policy and other technical problem, interoperability issue has been the major problem that hinders the exchange, share and use of data between private and governmental agencies. As a consequence, to facilitate coordination and group works in disaster management between parties/agencies, the developed system (CGeoSDI) should consider the interoperability issues as the main driving factor in developing GeoSpatial database. Through proper interoperable geodatabase, parties involved in the system (collaborators) will be able to share, exchange and use data more effectively and efficiently.

This component defines standards for database and data exchange to facilitate interoperability between dataset as well as data access mechanism. In term of dataset, Autralian Land Information Group (AUSLIG, 2001) in Smith dan Keally (2003) states that standard is needed in reference systems, data models, data dictionaries, data quality, data transfer, and metadata. Some examples of standardization, especially for cadastral data, have been defined by Indonesian Land Agency (BPN) such as: Standardization on cadastral mapping 2003, and Standards on DXF spatial data structure 2004.

At national level, National Coordination Agency for Surveys and Mapping (Bakosurtanal) has been trying to define standard reference surveying and mapping. However, this document has not been published for public. Consequently, each institution tries to use their own standards which often do not interoperable with the other institutions standards.

5). Policy
Policy, that covers aspects such as rules or regulations as well as guidelines, are important component in Geospatial Data Infrastructure for facilitating aspects related to the construction, maintenance and custodianship, dataset access and transfer, and application dataset and standards. At national level, this policy should regulate some aspects that covers the data access need at national scope, and is more general than the local one.

Existing condition shows that in general, policy related to the rules, regulation and privileges necessary for the institutions to develop a GeoSDI has not been defined clearly at both national and local level. As a result, institutions responsible to the development of GeoSDI are not encouraged to develop such a system due to lack of political and financial support. This situation makes the development of such a system is very slow because there is no clear development strategy and guidelines.

8. Concluding remarks
A Collaborative GeoSpatial Data Infrastructure (CGeoSDI) design system has been developed in this research. This system is designed based on the principle of efficient and effective use of geospatial data for collaborative works between parties/agencies in disaster management activities in Yogyakarta. Several aspects necessarily to be considered in developing such a system include: people, data, access network, standards, and policy. Existing condition evaluation to these components shows that the development of such a CGeoSDI in Yogyakarta has been hindered by technical and non-technical obstacles. Some strategies have to be defined to overcome these obstacles in order to be able to develop as well as to implement this system. This is not trivial task since the impediments to overcome are too broad and complicated. However, the development of CGeoSDI which is part of disaster management program is urgently needed. We would not wait until the next disaster event to occur to start developing and implementing such a system. We have to learn from the past deadly disaster events.

9. Acknowledgement
This research is part of HiLink research project coordinated by Gadjah Mada University and Kyushu University, and is funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

10. References

  • ANZLIC. (1996). National Spatial Data Infrastructure for Australia and New Zealand. ANZLIC discussion paper. Commonwealth Australia.
  • AUSLIG. (2001). Australian Spatial Data Infrastructure, AUSLIG, Online. . Accessed: November 2001.
  • Banerjee, R., Kumar, D., Mohanty K. K. and Nayak, S. (2003). Geomatics in Earthquake Mitigation, GIS Development. Retrieved on 6 August 2006 at 4 pm from https://www.gisdevelopment.net/application/natural_hazards/earthquakes/nhmeq0012.htm
  • Baraji, D., Sankar, R., dan Karthi, S. (2006). GIS approach for disaster management through awareness – an overview. Diakses tanggal 10 November 2006. https://www. gisdevelopment.net/application/natural_hazards/overview/nho0012pf.htm
  • CGISP (2005), California GIS Strategic Plan, accessed on 7 November 2006 at 7 pm from
  • Chiroiu, L., André, G., and Bahoken F. (2001). Earthquake loss estimation using high resolution satellite imagery, GIS Development. Retrieved on 6 August 2006 at 3 pm from https://www.gisdevelopment.net/application/natural_hazards/earthquakes/ nheq0005.htm
  • ESRI (2006). Providence, Kentucky, Digs Out From Tornado Damage With the Help of GIS. https://www.esri.com/news/arcnews/spring03articles/providence-kentucky.html
  • FDGC. (1997). Framework, Introduction and Guide. Washington: Federal Geogrphic Data Committee. p 106.
  • GSDI. (1997). Global Spatial Data Infrastucture Conference Findings and Resolutions. Chapel Hill, Notrh Carolina. 21 October 1997.
  • Mansourian, A., Rajabifard, A., Zoej, M. J. V. and Ian Williamson. (2004). SDI for disaster management to support sustainable development. Proc. of the International Map Asia Conference 2004. Beijing, China. Phillips, A., Williamson, I., and Ezigbalike, C. (1999). Spatial Data Infrastructure Concepts. The Australian Surveyor, Vol.44 No.1, p20-28.
  • Rajabifard, A., Feeney, M. F. dan Williamson, I. (2003). Spatial Data Infrastucture: Concept, Nature and SDI Hierarchy. Dalam I. Williamson, A. Rajabifard dan M. E. F. Feeney (Editor). Developing Spatial Data Infrastructures: from Concept to Reality. Florida: CRC Press.
  • Smith, J. dan Kealy, A. (2003). SDI and location based wireless applitions. Dalam I. Williamson, A. Rajabifard dan M. E. F. Feeney (Editor). Developing Spatial Data Infrastructures: from Concept to Reality. Florida: CRC Press.
  • Steudler, D. (2003). Evaluation and performance indicators for land administation and SDIs. Dalam I. Williamson, A. Rajabifard dan M. E. F. Feeney (Editor). Developing Spatial Data Infrastructures: from Concept to Reality. Florida: CRC Press. Sumantyo, J. T. S., F. Nishio, H. Sutanta, K. Wikantika, P.D. Kunte, and I. Indreswari. (2006) Inventory of Damaged Infrastructures in Yogyakarta Earthquake Area (in press) www.mapreport.com, accessed on 20 August 2006 at 11 am