Evacuation support and safety confirmation sharing in disaster situations for school trips by mobile information system

Abstract

The recent earthquake in Japan showed that tourists cannot access evacuation information and the families of tourists experienced problems when accessing safety information related to tourists. Given these problems, we consider two issues related to information provision in disaster situations. The first issue is the lack of evacuation information for tourists. The second issue is the difficulty of confirming the safety of tourists and sharing their safety information with relevant people, including the tourist’s family. The present study focuses on developing a tourism information system to solve these issues. We refer to this system as an Educational Trip Support System (ETSS). The research subject is a school trip, which is a representative type of group tour that occurs in Japan. The objectives of the ETSS are to help students to escape to an evacuation area rapidly by providing evacuation information and to share safety confirmations with relevant people during disaster situations. We assessed the effectiveness based on a field test in a disaster-simulated situation and quantitative surveys. The major contributions of this study include (1) a description of a mobile application system for confirming safety during school trips and sharing information with relevant people, (2) a method to facilitate the rapid evacuation of students that saves time and reduces their concerns about the situation, (3) detailed evaluations of the performance obtained using ETSS.

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Acknowledgments

The research described in this paper was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 24650055. The research was supported by Kinki Nippon Tourist and RAiSE in coordination with the schools that discussed the service improvements, and by JM Technology in application development. We would like to express our thanks to the following six schools that took part in our field experiments during their memorable school trips to Kyoto: Okatsu Junior High School, Osu Junior High School, Chiba Senior High School, Sendai West Senior High School, Naka 1st Junior High School, and Konan Junior High School.

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Correspondence to Hidekazu Kasahara.

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Kasahara, H., Kurumatani, K., Mori, M. et al. Evacuation support and safety confirmation sharing in disaster situations for school trips by mobile information system. Inf Technol Tourism 14, 197–217 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40558-014-0013-9

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Keywords

  • Evacuation support
  • Global positioning system
  • Mobile information system
  • Emergency management
  • Disaster