Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Monitoring recovery after earthquakes through the integration of remote sensing, GIS and ground observations: The case of L'Aquila (Italy)

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Diana Maria Contreras Mojica



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Taylor & Francis, 2016.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


The usefulness of remote sensing (RS), geographical information systems, and ground observations for monitoring changesin urban areas has been demonstrated through many examples over the last two decades. Research has generally focused onthe relief phase following a disaster, but we have instead investigated the subsequent phases involving early recovery,recovery, and development. Our aim was to determine to what extent integration of the available tools, techniques, andmethods can be used to efficiently monitor the progress of recovery following an earthquake. Changes in buildings withinthe Italian city of L’Aquila following the 2009 earthquake were identified from Earth observation data and are used asindicators of progress in the recovery process. These changes were identified through (1) visual analysis, (2) automatedchange detection using a set of decision rules formulated within an object-based image analysis framework, and (3)validation based on a combination of visual and semiautomated interpretations. An accuracy assessment of the automatedanalysis showed a producer accuracy of 81% (error of omission: 19%) and a user accuracy of 55% (error of commission:45%). The use of RS made it possible for the identification of changes to be spatially exhaustive, and also to increase thenumber of categories used for a recovery index. In addition, using RS allowed the area requiring extensive fieldwork(to monitor the progress of the recovery process) to be reduced.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Contreras D, Blaschke T, Tiede D, Jilge M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cartography and Geographic Information Science

Year: 2016

Volume: 43

Issue: 2

Pages: 115-133

Online publication date: 15/04/2015

Acceptance date: 31/01/2015

Date deposited: 18/03/2019

ISSN (print): 1523-0406

ISSN (electronic): 1545-0465

Publisher: Taylor & Francis


DOI: 10.1080/15230406.2015.1029520


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric