Mixed Reality Maps to help convey disaster information
Keywords: augmented reality, mixed reality, 3d visualization, geo-visualization, emergency management
Abstract. In safe and industrialized nations most people have only been sporadically in contact with disaster information. But nevertheless, suitable cartographic products are needed to support first aid responders and help teams trying to save as many lives as possible in disaster events. The spatial information on which these teams have to rely on are currently maps without any interactivity and flexibility which was detected by a requirements analysis asking stakeholders working in the field of disaster management. Based on this analysis a tabletop mixed reality application was developed. Within the application two case study scenarios were integrated. Both scenarios together showed the flexibility of the mixed reality approach for representing disaster information in a suitable and feasible way. The first scenario illustrates a large fire event as well as several additional information sources which can assist response and management teams in various directions. The second scenario displays an earthquake event visualizing damaged and destroyed houses and streets. This scenario as well integrates many different information sources and spans from small scale area visualizations to large scale indoor maps for highlighting e.g. injured people in distinct rooms or floors. The resulting application was evaluated by experts. First the application was presented and explained to the experts. Afterwards the experts were asked in a structured interview how they would evaluate the usability and willingness to use such an application in real scenarios. The experts were impressed by the available possibilities in representing and integrating disaster information via the tabletop mixed reality approach yet mentioned that a head mounted device compared to a smartphone would be more beneficial in practice.