Multi-user tangible interfaces for effective decision-making in disaster management

  • Harmen Hofstra
  • Henk Scholten
  • Sisi Zlatanova
  • Alessandra Scotta
Part of the Environmental Science and Engineering book series (ESE)


In order to handle disasters, save human lives, and reduce damages, it is essential to have quick response times, good collaboration and coordination among the parties involved, as well as advanced techniques, resources, and infrastructure. The current response to disaster is inefficient and sometimes poorly organized. Various studies, research, and analyses have helped clarify needs, understand failures, and improve technology and organizational procedures. One of the major bottlenecks mentioned in many reports is communication between different parties involved in managing a disaster. The lack of a good overview of the locations of teams, personnel, and facilities or insufficient information about the tasks needing to be completed may lead to misunderstanding and errors. Many command and control systems have been developed to aid the decision-making process, but these systems generally require well-trained personnel. This chapter discusses a series of usability investigations completed on a new type of hardware called a ‘tangible table’ for sharing information and decision-making during emergency responses. The tangible table offers a simple user interface that can be manipulated with human fingers. The interface is intuitive and easy to understand and use. This chapter presents the technology and discusses the interface and the usability tests that have been carried out with different groups of users. The results of these tests show convincingly that the system is highly appropriate for a broad group of non-technical users.


Unify Modelling Language Emergency Response Disaster Management Technology Acceptance Model Perceive Usefulness 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harmen Hofstra
  • Henk Scholten
  • Sisi Zlatanova
  • Alessandra Scotta

There are no affiliations available

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