Purpose - This paper aims to improve post-earthquake reconnaissance (PER) and online sharing of scientific and engineering information from earthquakes and natural disasters by taking full advantage of recent advances in information technologies, global positioning systems (GPS) and digital cameras. Design/methodology/approach - Based on more than ten years of experience, this paper reviews the evolution of post-earthquake reconnaissance after earthquakes in Japan, Turkey, Taiwan, India and China. In the anticipation of an explosion of information in this field, it proposes virtual earthquakes as a means to organise information collected from the metadata embedded in digital pictures. Findings - Post-earthquake reconnaissance has improved our knowledge of earthquakes in engineering and science. It has rapidly evolved with advances in GPS, digital cameras and web technologies. PER should now exploit the benefits of metadata embedded in photos. By attaching information to photo files, embedded metadata have the potential of automating and scaling up PER dataflow. Embedded metadata may lay the foundation of virtual earthquakes and involve the public in collecting scientific and engineering data. Originality/value - The paper introduces the use of embedded metadata in the field of post-earthquake reconnaissance for sharing of scientific and engineering data. The paper also contributes to building virtual earthquakes for visualising and understanding earthquake damage and other disasters affecting people and the built environment.
- Data handling
- Information systems
- Visual media
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Information Systems
- Computer Science Applications
- Library and Information Sciences