Risk Management/User-driven spatial activities/retrieve information

Concept of GPS-tailored information retrieval


The concept of information retrieval tailored to the current geolocation means that the collection of data or information is extracted from a centralized storage filtered according to the relevance for the current geolocation for the user of an mobile device. The dissemination of data to a client could be

  • commercial (restaurants close to the geolocation of the user),
  • humanitarian (support units of Red Cross,
  • scientific (scientific papers that refer with the results to a specific area, e.g. biodiversity in a certain forest),
  • risk map evaluation (exposure to radioactive radiation a certain geolocation),
  • resouce allocation map (availability of resouces at a certain geolocation),

Data and Application

Tailored application of agrochemicals (Precision Farming/Agriculture)

Retrieved data is used for spatial and temporal planning of intervention, training of staff members (e.g. vector control units - mosquito and larvae management), navigation to a resouce or navigation away from areas with high risk, humanitarian mission planning (see Humanitarian Open Streetmap[1], prospective modeling with reference to the current geolocation of the mobile device user, simulation (e.g. of the eco system) and history events that tool place at the current geolocation of user. Tailored geospatial information needs a basic framework for extract the relevant information for a current geolocation of a user. The collection of information generated for the geolocation of the user could be based on multiple sources:

  • weather data and weather warnings for the current geolocation,
  • public health risks in a certain geolocation (contamination of surface water),
  • GIS tailored application of agrochemicals (see Precision Farming[2][3])

Spatial Decision Support


The decision support client and the spatial decision support backend/Server should work with common interoperable data standards. The support of digital signature for mulitple source is relevant, that the user can be sure, that the raw data for the spatial decision support was not altered (especially for govermental of public health decision support[4]. Retrieved information may also be presented in the form of printed maps, charts, and publications, especially when digital device are not available in remote areas or for communities without digital equiment. The tailored digital simulation and modeling for a specific geolocation must be translate in form the risk exposed population is able to perceive the content and apply certain operation for risk mitigation. Geospatial services need the geolocation of the user first and the access to tools enable users to access and manipulate data according to the needs. The feedback loop, which content was valuable for the users provide information about usage and benefit of maps, training, instruction, risk management support. The feedback helps to optimze retrieval mechanism and the use of geospatial data in general.

Learning Task: Client/Web


With this two main tasks you understand the basic principles on the client side to create a information request for the current geolocation of the user.

Learning Task: Server/Backend/Mesh Networks

  • Explore Serval Project[5] and explain the difference between classical network and service architecture you are exposed to in your every day life!
  • Explore the geographical webbased service GeoNames[6]. When you visit the website you see an item "Wikipedia". Explain the workgflow how GeoNames is able to refer Wikipedia article to a specific geolocation on map!
  • Analyse the concept of RESTful webservices[7]. Assign geospatial activities to the calls of GET, PUT, POST, DELETE of the RESTful web service.
  • If you are a programmer create a PHP, python, ... script for your local webserver and try to answer REST actions with appropriate code (e.g. install Apache Web Server on your local machine and learn about basic communication between client and server and create a web service for RESTful API, that is able post and get data from the server). The start analyse existing frameworks for implementing a web service. Define your criteria for the selection of the framework first! (e.g. workload for the programmer, security, licencing model, multiplatform deevlopment for Linux, Windows, Mac, ...)
  • Learn how you could connect mobile app developed in multiplatform integrated development environment (search for Open Source Mobile Application Development with w:DuckDuckGo) for connecting the client to your web service.

See also

  • Digital Signature to assure that retrieved and shared data and information was really generated by the organisation, academic institute or retrieved from trusted governmental source.


  1. Soden, R., & Palen, L. (2014). From crowdsourced mapping to community mapping: The post-earthquake work of OpenStreetMap Haiti. In COOP 2014-Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on the Design of Cooperative Systems, 27-30 May 2014, Nice (France) (pp. 311-326). Springer, Cham.
  2. Blackmore, S. (1994). Precision farming: an introduction. Outlook on agriculture, 23(4), 275-280.
  3. Mulla, D. J. (2013). Twenty five years of remote sensing in precision agriculture: Key advances and remaining knowledge gaps. Biosystems engineering, 114(4), 358-371.
  4. Rushton, G. (2003). Public health, GIS, and spatial analytic tools. Annual review of public health, 24(1), 43-56.
  5. Gardner-Stephen, P., & Palaniswamy, S. (2011, December). Serval mesh software-wifi multi model management. In Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Wireless Technologies for Humanitarian Relief (pp. 71-77). ACM.
  6. Wick, M., & Vatant, B. (2012). The geonames geographical database. Available from World Wide Web: http://geonames. org.
  7. Richardson, L., & Ruby, S. (2008). RESTful web services. " O'Reilly Media, Inc.".