What You See is What I Need: Mobile Reporting Practices in Emergencies

  • Thomas LudwigEmail author
  • Christian Reuter
  • Volkmar Pipek
Conference paper


Decisions of emergency response organisations (police, fire fighters, infrastructure providers, etc.) rely on accurate and timely information. Some necessary information is integrated into control centre’s IT (weather, availability of electricity, gauge information, etc.), but almost every decision needs to be based on very specific information of the current crisis situation. Due to the unpredictable nature of a crisis, gathering this kind of information requires much improvisation and articulation work which we aim to support. We present a study on how different emergency response organisations communicate with teams on-site to generate necessary information for the coordinating instances, and we described, implemented and evaluated an interaction concept as well as a prototype to support this communication by a semi-structured request-and-report system based on Android devices. We learned that (1) the accuracy of request and reports can be improved by using an appropriate metadata structure in addition to creating multimedia-based information content, (2) requirements of trusted and fast information need to be respected in support concepts although they may even be contradictory, and (3) the coordination strategy of the emergency response organisation also shapes the way this interaction needs to be designed.


Control Centre Mobile Application Emergency Service Crisis Management Information Overload 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The project ‘InfoStrom’ is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (No. 13N10712).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Ludwig
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christian Reuter
    • 1
  • Volkmar Pipek
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Information SystemsUniversity of SiegenSiegenGermany

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