Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 18, Issue 8, pp 2025–2034 | Cite as

Providing real-time assistance in disaster relief by leveraging crowdsourcing power

  • Dingqi YangEmail author
  • Daqing Zhang
  • Korbinian Frank
  • Patrick Robertson
  • Edel Jennings
  • Mark Roddy
  • Michael Lichtenstern
Original Article


Crowdsourcing platforms for disaster management have drawn a lot of attention in recent years due to their efficiency in disaster relief tasks, especially for disaster data collection and analysis. Although the on-site rescue staff can largely benefit from these crowdsourcing data, due to the rapidly evolving situation at the disaster site, they usually encounter various difficulties and have requests, which need to be resolved in a short time. In this paper, aiming at efficiently harnessing crowdsourcing power to provide those on-site rescue staff with real-time remote assistance, we design and develop a crowdsourcing disaster support platform by considering three unique features, viz., selecting and notifying relevant off-site users for individual request according to their expertise; providing collaborative working functionalities to off-site users; improving answer credibility via “crowd voting.” To evaluate the platform, we conducted a series of experiments with three-round user trials and also a System Usability Scale survey after each trial. The results show that the platform can effectively support on-site rescue staff by leveraging crowdsourcing power and achieve good usability .


Disaster management platform Crowdsourcing System Usability Scale SUS 



This work is supported by the EU FP7 Project SOCIETIES (No. 257493). The authors would like to express their great appreciation to Dr. Jacqueline Floch, Dr. Michael Angermann, Yiorgos Bouloudis, Bernhard Perun, Gunther Berthold, as well as all other colleagues and trial participants, for their help in the preparation and execution of the user trials. The authors would also like to thank the editors and reviewers for the valuable comments and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dingqi Yang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Daqing Zhang
    • 1
  • Korbinian Frank
    • 2
  • Patrick Robertson
    • 2
  • Edel Jennings
    • 3
  • Mark Roddy
    • 3
  • Michael Lichtenstern
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Telecommunication Network and ServicesInstitut Mines-TELECOM/TELECOM SudParisEvryFrance
  2. 2.Institute of Communications and NavigationGerman Aerospace CenterOberpfaffenhofenGermany
  3. 3.Telecommunications Software and Systems GroupWaterford Institute of TechnologyWaterfordIreland

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