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TRANSP Seminar: Role of Geospatial Science and Big Data in Emergency Management, Bandana Kar

Date: Thursday, April 19

Time: 3:40 pm - 5:00 pm

Location: 327 John D. Tickle Building


The growth in information and communication technologies (ICT) and geo-spatial technologies, the proliferation of personal and interconnected devices have brought in the era of Internet of Things (IoT) and big data. This convergence of technologies and data has revolutionized risk prediction and assessment, risk communication for disaster response, impact assessment, among others. In summary, geospatial and computational sciences changing the landscape of emergency management research and applications. Nonetheless, the availability of structured and unstructured data at multiple spatial and temporal scales, raise questions about data relevance, position accuracy, and overall data quality to be effectively used for decision-making purpose. This talk presents the findings from projects focusing on geo-targeted risk communication, resilience assessment, use of social media for situational awareness, use of night time light for hurricane impacts. A follow-on discussion about current and future research directions is presented to give an idea about the role of geospatial science in homeland security and emergency management applications.


Bandana Kar is a Research Scientist in the Geographic Information Science and Technology group, Computational Sciences and Engineering Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). She was an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Geology at the University of Southern Mississippi. She has a Ph.D. in geography from the University of South Carolina at Columbia. Her research interests are in: (i) uncertainty and accuracy assessment, (ii) multi-scale and spatio-temporal modeling, (iii) cyber GIS, citizen science and location privacy, and (iv) remote sensing, change detection and feature extraction. Her continuing research focuses on integrating Geographic Information Science (GIScience), remote sensing and computational sciences to study the dynamics of social processes, human dimensions of global change, and the interaction of social and physical environments for building and predicting resilience of infrastructures and society across space and time. She has been funded by the Department of Homeland Security, National Science Foundation and Department of Defense to undertake research in risk communication, economic resilience, and using big data for homeland security and emergency management applications. Her projects at ORNL focus on using imagery and crowdsourced data for disaster informatics and resilience assessment, feature extraction, etc.

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