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Democratizing mobile app development for disaster management

Smartphones are being used for a wide range of activities including messaging, social networking, calendar and contact management as well as location and context-aware applications. The ubiquity of handheld computing technology has been found to be especially useful in disaster management and relief operations. Our focus is to enable developers to quickly deploy applications that take advantage of key sources that are fundamental for today's networked citizens, including Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, current news releases, and government data. These applications will also have the capability of empowering citizens involved in crisis situations to contribute via crowdsourcing, and to communicate up-to-date information to others. We will leverage several technologies to develop this application framework, namely (i) Linked Data principles for structured data, (ii) existing data sources and ontologies for disaster management, and (iii) App Inventor, which is a mobile application development framework for non-programmers. In this paper, we describe our motivating use cases, our architecture, and our prototype implementation.

Citation: Fuming Shih, Oshani Seneviratne, Ilaria Liccardi, Evan Patton, Patrick Meier, and Carlos Castillo. 2013. Democratizing mobile app development for disaster management. In Joint Proceedings of the Workshop on AI Problems and Approaches for Intelligent Environments and Workshop on Semantic Cities (AIIP '13), Sebastian Bader, Anika Schumann, Stephan Sigg, Freddy Lecue, Biplav Srivastava, Zaiqing Nie, and Christian Guttmann (Eds.). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 39-42. DOI=10.1145/2516911.2516915

Grade Level: 

  • Undergraduate
  • Master's and Above

Difficulty Level: 

  • Basic


  • Computer Science
  • Entrepreneurship

Resource Type: 

  • Paper