WABI speaks with Ph.D. student about citizen data, natural disaster mapping research

WABI (Channel 5) spoke with Iranga Subasinghe, a Ph.D. student in spatial information science at the University of Maine, about his research on mapping natural disasters in real time using citizen data. The project, also led by Silvia Nittel, associate professor in spatial informatics at UMaine, uses a 2018 mudslide in California as a case study. The researchers hope to create accurate maps of dangerous areas using input from citizens that can be used to help them reach safety or help rescuers navigate, WABI reported. “We cannot expect a lot of input because people are panicked. They have other things to do while the natural disaster is happening,” said Subasinghe of the software program, which is designed to work even with a limited amount of data.