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PIARC (World Road Association), founded in 1909 and comprising 125 member governments from all over the world, is the global forum for exchange of knowledge and experience on roads, road transport policies and practices. With consultative status to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, the Association is contributing to a stable and sustainable global development of the road and transport sector.

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The Use of Big Data and Social Networks for Disaster Management - Briefing Note

PIARC's Technical Committee 1.5 - Disaster Management, has established a task related to the'Use of Big Data and Social Networks for Disaster Management. This task considers new information evolutions such as big data and social networks. It involves an international literature review, collection and analysis of case studies and engagement with worldwide road administrations to learn from global experience to promote knowledge sharing.

As part of this research, an international survey was undertaken by TC 1.5 – WG1 (Working Group 1). The result was the production of a briefing note to provide an overview of the project methodology and summary of findings on survey results which came from 22 countries with a continent breakdown as follows; 8 (Asia), 8 (Europe), 5 (America) and 1 (Oceania).

The main themes of survey questions were the Types of Big Data and Social Network information collected and the frequency of collection, validation techniques and ensuring the accuracy of the collected data, data analysis and dissemination (technologies, software, etc.), benefits to the road administration and road users, and application with COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall, the survey received many positive responses. Analysis shows extensive collection and analysis of Big Data and information from Social Networks is taking place during the disaster/emergency lifecycle. Most of this information relates to traffic, infrastructure and weather data. What is of concern to respondents is the quality and accuracy of the data.

This report contains commentary on several key areas, firstly the preliminary results of the survey. And secondly, conclusions and recommendations for decision-makers and international organizations. Further analysis on survey information and case studies will be developed and delivered at the Working Group 1 Final Report.

Information sheet

  • Date: 2022
  • Author(s): Comité technique / Technical Committee / Comité Técnico 2020-2023 1.5 - Gestion des Catastrophes / Disaster Management / Gestión de Catástrofes
  • Domain(s): Risk Management
  • Type: Briefing Note
  • PIARC Ref.: 2022R17EN
  • ISBN: 978-2-84060-696-3
  • Number of pages: 27