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


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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9


  1. Amano K, Kato G, Kitada A, Takahashi K, Harada H (1974) Manifold problems on the study tour in a high school (studies on extra-curricular activities) (general researches). Bull Nagoya Univ Sch Educ Affil Up Low Second Sch 19:16–21 (in Japanese)

    Google Scholar 

  2. Barnes M, Leather H, Arvind DK (2007). Emergency evacuation using wireless sensor networks. In: 32nd IEEE conference on local computer networks, 2007. LCN 2007, pp 851–857

  3. Baus J, Krüger A, Wahlster W (2002) A resource-adaptive mobile navigation system. In: Proceedings of the 7th international conference on intelligent user interfaces ACM, pp 15–22

  4. bsafe (2013) http://getbsafe.com/. Accessed 25 Feb 2014

  5. circleof6 (2012) http://www.circleof6app.com/. Accessed 25 Feb 2014

  6. Dong Y, Niimura M, Kunimune H, Fuwa Y (2010) AS-5-6 Development of safety confirmation system for elderly person using a wireless ad-hoc network. In: Proceedings of the IEICE general conference, 2010, pp S-63–S-64

  7. Fujihara A, Miwa H (2012) Real-time disaster evacuation guidance using opportunistic communications. In: 12th international symposium on applications and the internet (SAINT), 2012 IEEE/IPSJ, pp 326–331

  8. Gelenbe E, Wu FJ (2012) Large scale simulation for human evacuation and rescue. Comput Math Appl 64(12):3869–3880

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Gómez OA (2013) Lessons from international students’ reaction to the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake: the case of the School of Engineering at Tohoku University. Int J Disaster Risk Sci 4(3):137–149

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Harle R (2013) A survey of indoor inertial positioning systems for pedestrians. IEEE Commun Surv Tutor 15(3):1281–1293

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Hasegawa R (2013) Disaster evacuation from Japan’s 2011 Tsunami Disaster and the Fukushima Nuclear Accident, IDDRI, Sciences Po Report, no. 5, pp 1–54

  12. Iwagami R (1998) Positioning of students during school trip. Electronics 43(11):12–13 (in Japanese)

    Google Scholar 

  13. Japanese Ministry of Land Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (2009) Overseas School Excursion Manual. Japan Tourism Agency, Tokyo (in Japanese)

    Google Scholar 

  14. Kasahara H, Mori M, Mukunoki M, Minoh M (2012) Design on town building for realizing travel safety and security based on tourism information system. In: Proceedings of Design Symposium 2012, pp 429–435 (in Japanese)

  15. Kondo S (2011) Safety confirmation system for elderly single-person household with sensor systems. IEEJ Trans Electron Inf Syst 131(7):1293–1297 (In Japanese)

    Google Scholar 

  16. Kurashima T, Iwata T, Irie G, Fujimura K (2013) Travel route recommendation using geotagged photos. Knowl Inf Syst 37(1):37–60

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Lu Y, Yang D (2011) Information exchange in virtual communities under extreme disaster conditions. Decis Support Syst 50(2):529–538

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Nagai K, Kitagawa G, Suganuma T, Shiratori N (2004) A safety confirmation system for large-scale disasters based on Multi-agent System. IEICE Tech Rep 104(273):113–117 (In Japanese)

    Google Scholar 

  19. Nakajima Y, Shiina H, Yamane S, Ishida T, Yamaki H (2007) Disaster evacuation guide: using a massively multiagent server and GPS mobile phones. In: International symposium on applications and the internet, 2007, SAINT 2007, 2-2), IEEE

  20. Nakamura T, Kogo K, Fujimura J, Tsudaka K, Wada T, Ohtsuki K, Okada H (2013) Development of emergency rescue evacuation support system (ERESS) in panic-type disasters: disaster detection by positioning area of terminals. In: 42nd international conference on parallel processing (ICPP), 2013, pp 931–936

  21. Nomura Research Institute (2012) Japanese cities’ approaches for acquiring MICEs. NRI Public Manag Rev 110:1–6 (in Japanese)

    Google Scholar 

  22. Nozawa M, Hagiwara Y, Choi Y (2012) Indoor human navigation system on smartphones using view-based navigation. In: 12th international conference on control, automation and systems (ICCAS), 2012, pp 1916–1919

  23. Jaeger PT, Shneiderman B, Fleischmann KR, Preece J, Qu Y, Wu PF (2007) Community response grids: E-government, social networks, and effective emergency management. Telecommun Policy 31(10):592–604

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. NTT DoCoMo. (2013). Area mail disaster information services, http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/service/safety/areamail/. Accessed 29 Oct 2013

  25. Ricci F (2002) Travel recommender systems. IEEE Intell Syst 4:55–57

    Google Scholar 

  26. SafeApp (2012) http://www.appwire.org/safeapp-appative.html. Accessed 25 Feb 2014

  27. Shiraishi T, Shibata MNN, Nagata M, Shibata N, Murata Y, Yasumoto K, Ito M (2005) A personal navigation system with a schedule planning facility based on multi-objective criteria. In: Proc. of 2nd Int’l. Conf. on mobile computing and ubiquitous networking

  28. Silventoinen MI, Rantalainen T (1996) Mobile station emergency locating in GSM. In: IEEE international conference on personal wireless communications, 1996, pp 232–238

  29. Smart-Safe (2014) http://www.smart-safe.org/. Accessed 25 Feb 2014

  30. Toriumi F, Sakaki T, Shinoda K, Kazama K, Kurihara S, Noda I (2013) Information sharing on Twitter during the 2011 catastrophic earthquake. In: Proceedings of the 22nd international conference on world wide web companion, pp 1025–1028

  31. Tsuji J, Kawamura H, Suzuki K, Ikeda T, Sashima A, Kurumatani K (2010) An indoor positioning system based on probabilistic model with ZigBee sensor networks. J Adv Comput Intell Intell Inf 14(6):425–430

    Google Scholar 

  32. Whipple J, Arensman W, Boler MS (2009) A public safety application of GPS-enabled smartphones and the android operating system. In: IEEE international conference on systems, man and cybernetics 2009, SMC 2009, pp 2059–2061

  33. Yamaguchi K, Kato T, Ninomiya Y (2006) Moving obstacle detection using monocular vision. IEEE Intell Veh Symp 2006:288–293

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Yoshitsugu Y (2011) Roles of social media at the time of major disasters observed in the Great East Japan Earthquake: twitter as an example. NHK Mon Rep Broadcast Res 61(7):16–23 (in Japanese)

    Google Scholar 

  35. Zheng VW, Zheng Y, Xie X, Yang Q (2010) Collaborative location and activity recommendations with GPS history data, WWW2010, pp 1029–1038

Download references


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.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hidekazu Kasahara.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

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

Download citation


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