Cartography in Early Warning and Crisis Management

Sensor data for early warning and disaster risk reduction and management - I

3604.2 - New Map Symbol System for Disaster Management

Monday, July 3
3:10 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: Virginia B

In the last 10 years Bulgaria was frequently affected by natural and man-made disasters that caused considerable losses. According to the Bulgarian Disaster Management Act (2006) disaster management should be planned at local, regional and national level. Disaster management is а complex process including mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery and the actors in these activities need accurate geographical information presented on thematic maps that could support their specific activities. Disaster management at local and regional level is based on plans that include maps such as hazard maps, maps for protection, maps for evacuation planning, etc. Decision-making and cooperation between two or more neighboring municipalities or regions in crisis situation are still rendered difficult because the maps included in the plans differ in scale, colors, map symbols and cartographic design. To improve decision-making process in case of emergency and to reduce the number of human loss and property damages disaster management plans at local and regional level should be supported by detailed thematic maps created in accordance with uniform contents, map symbol system and design.

The main objective of this study is development of a new map symbol system and unified approach in the creation of thematic cartographic products intended to be included into disaster management plans.

The paper proposes a new symbol system for disaster management that includes a four level hierarchical classification of objects and phenomena according to their type and origin. All objects and phenomena of this classification are divided into five categories: disasters; infrastructure; protection services and infrastructure for protection; affected people and affected infrastructure; operational sites and activities. The symbols of these categories are shown with different colors and shapes so that they are identifiable. All the symbols have simple but associative design. The symbol system is designed to be appplied in the creation of maps for early warning and crisis management, to support the operational work of all participants in the unified rescue system, regional and municipal administrations, as well as to help citizens reading specialized maps for emergencies.

The new symbol system is used in the design of a series of maps for disaster management at local and regional level: basic maps of municipal plans for disaster management; maps for disaster management in case of: earthquakes, floods, fires, industrial accidents, radiation accidents; a map for evacuation activities planning.

The classification of objects and phenomena, the cartographic design of the symbols included in the new system, the unified map content and design aim to improve the whole process of crisis management and to facilitate the collaboration of local and regional authorities in efforts to mitigate shared disasters.

Silvia Marinova

Assistant Professor
University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy, Sofia

Silvia Marinova is General Secretary of Bulgarian Cartographic Association and Chief Assist. Prof. at the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy, Sofia. She is also a member of Bulgarian Chamber of Graduated Surveyors, Commission on Cartography in Early Warning and Crisis Management - International Cartographic Association and Young Scientific Committee - International Society for Digital Earth. She works at KartGeo Ltd. as a cartographer where her main activities are map design and editing. Her science interests are focused on thematic mapping for early warning and disaster management, cross-border mapping, mountain cartography.

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