Optimal geospatial volunteer allocation needs realistic distances Workshop Paper

Author(s): Pielorz, Jasmin; Prandtstetter, Matthias; Straub, Markus; Lampert, Christoph H
Title: Optimal geospatial volunteer allocation needs realistic distances
Alternate Title: IEEE Big Data
Affiliation IST Austria
Abstract: Modern communication technologies allow first responders to contact thousands of potential volunteers simultaneously for support during a crisis or disaster event. However, such volunteer efforts must be well coordinated and monitored, in order to offer an effective relief to the professionals. In this paper we extend earlier work on optimally assigning volunteers to selected landmark locations. In particular, we emphasize the aspect that obtaining good assignments requires not only advanced computational tools, but also a realistic measure of distance between volunteers and landmarks. Specifically, we propose the use of the Open Street Map (OSM) driving distance instead of he previously used flight distance. We find the OSM driving distance to be better aligned with the interests of volunteers and first responders. Furthermore, we show that relying on the flying distance leads to a substantial underestimation of the number of required volunteers, causing negative side effects in case of an actual crisis situation.
Keywords: Optimization; crisis management; volunteered geographic information; crowdsourcing
Date Range: December 11-14, 2017
Conference Location: Boston, MA, USA
Publisher: IEEE  
Date Published: 2017-12-11
Start Page: accepted
Open access: no