The International Information Center for Geotechnical Engineers

Thursday, 24 May 2018 01:00

Citizen scientists at NASA’s service, for the creation of the largest landslide database

 The aim is to get a better understanding of landslides with every report made

Landslides can cause thousands of deaths every year worldwide, billions of dollars in property damage, while they are difficult to predict and often detect. So, in an effort to get a better understanding of where and when these events occur, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center scientists have created Landslide Reporter, an open worldwide database for landslide research, asking volunteers to contribute. The database is part of a larger project called COOLR (Cooperative Open Online Landslide Repository), that aims to create the largest global public online landslide catalog. The platform will be available for everyone to share, download, and analyze landslide information, while it is expected to improve scientific modeling and emergency response.

NASA turns to the global citizen science community for help, as the administration’s current Global Landslide Catalog (GLC) that provides new insight into landslide hazards globally, has been a manual and very time-consuming process that is hard to maintain. With the new web application, when citizen scientists find a landslide event through a news article or in-person, they can add information about its location, date, type and other details about the event. The advantages of the contribution of citizen scientists are the following:

  1. A collection with as many different sources and as little bias as possible, including first-hand accounts, reports in other languages, and points from other databases
  2. More hands to contribute reports, leading to a more up-to-date and thorough database
  3. More awareness and education about landslides as a natural process and natural/man-made hazard

NASA worlds largest landslide database1

COOLR currently includes NASA’s Global Landslide Catalog (GLC) and landslide events contributed by citizen scientists, while collated landslide inventories will be added by REST API or manually in the future. The Global Landslide Catalog (GLC) was developed with the goal of identifying rainfall-triggered landslide events around the world, regardless of size, impacts or location.  

Source: NASA

Read 562 times Last modified on Thursday, 24 May 2018 16:15

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