V. Meyer, C. Kuhlicke, J. Luther, S. Fuchs, S. Priest, Wolfgang Dorner, K. Serrhini, J. Pardoe, S. McCarthy, J. Seidel, S. Scheuer, G. Palka
Recommendations for user-specific enhancement of flood maps
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, vol. 12, no. 5, pp. 1701-1716
The European Union Floods Directive requires the establishment of flood maps for high risk areas in all European member states by 2013. However, the current practice of flood mapping in Europe still shows some deficits. Firstly, flood maps are frequently seen as an information tool rather than a communication tool. This means that, for example, local stocks of knowledge are not incorporated. Secondly, the contents of flood maps often do not match the requirements of the end-users. Finally, flood maps are often designed and visualised in a way that cannot be easily understood by residents at risk and/or that is not suitable for the respective needs of public authorities in risk and event management. The RISK MAP project examined how end-user participation in the mapping process may be used to overcome these barriers and enhance the communicative power of flood maps, fundamentally increasing their effectiveness.
Based on empirical findings from a participatory approach that incorporated interviews, workshops and eye-tracking tests, conducted in five European case studies, this paper outlines recommendations for user-specific enhancements of flood maps. More specific, recommendations are given with regard to (1) appropriate stakeholder participation processes, which allow incorporating local knowledge and preferences, (2) the improvement of the contents of flood maps by considering user-specific needs and (3) the improvement of the visualisation of risk maps in order to produce user-friendly and understandable risk maps for the user groups concerned. Furthermore, "idealised" maps for different user groups are presented: for strategic planning, emergency management and the public.
S. Fuchs, K. Spachinger, Wolfgang Dorner, J. Rochmann, K. Serrhini
Evaluating cartographic design in flood risk mapping
Environmental Hazards, vol. 8, pp. 52-70
In order to mitigate flood hazards and to minimize associated losses, technical protection measures have been additionally and
increasingly supplemented by non-technical mitigation, i.e. land-use planning activities. This is commonly done by creating
maps which indicate such areas by different cartographic symbols, such as colour, size, shape and typography. Hazard and risk
mapping is the accepted procedure when dealing with natural hazards and is therefore required in the European Member States
in order to meet the demands of the European Flood Risk Directive. However, available information is sparse concerning the
impact of such maps on different stakeholders, i.e. specialists in flood risk management, politicians and affected citizens. The
lack of information stems from a traditional approach to map production which does not take into account specific end-user
needs. In order to overcome this information shortage the current study used a circular approach such that feedback
mechanisms originating from different perception patterns of the end user would be considered. Different sets of small-scale as
well as large-scale risk maps were presented to different groups of test persons in order to (1) study reading behaviour as well as
understanding and (2) deduce the most attractive components that are essential for target-oriented communication of
cartographic information. Therefore, the method of eye tracking was applied using a video-oculography technique. This resulted
in a suggestion for a map template which fulfils the requirement to serve as an efficient communication tool for specialists and
practitioners in hazard and risk mapping as well as for laypersons. Taking the results of this study will enable public authorities
who are responsible for flood mitigation to (1) improve their flood risk maps, (2) enhance flood risk awareness and, therefore,
(3) create more disaster-resilient communities.
Elektrotechnik und Medientechnik
Wolfgang Dorner, S. Fuchs, K. Serrhini
Development of flood risk in mountain catchments and related perception
Geophysical Research Abstracts, vol. 9
The RISKCATCH project aims to deliver new, practical and viable solutions for anintegrated risk-assessment-based management of natural hazards in Alpine environments and related forelands. A special focus is on the interaction of technical and non-technical measures during recent flood events in catchment areas. Comparing the status quo and historical development of risk and forecasting possible future developments based on scenarios, necessary action will be derived and efficiency of non-technical measures of flood defence will be evaluated. Based on the assessment of historical and possible future development of hazard, values at risk and vulnerability, non-technical measures will be evaluatedfrom an economic and technical point of view using scenario technique, cost-benefit analysis and cost comparison method. With respect to different scenarios of the temporal development of risk, maps will be generated and assessed with respect to its perception, using the method of graphic semiology. Graphic semiology is an innovative tool to evaluate such information, and is based on thestatistical analysis of eye movements of test persons exposed to visual information.