Emergency Management through Mobile Crowdsourcing

Be it a major sports event, a music festival, or a church convention – at such events, up to hundreds of thousands of people can congregate in a relatively small space. In order to assure that major events can run their course without incident, it is important to have suitable measures in place to prevent mass panic. Furthermore, in the event of an emergency, it is crucial to inform rescue and emergency staff as quickly as possible and to keep them up to date. The situation is similar in the event of emergencies occurring at industrial plants.

Two major events in Brazil, the soccer world championship in 2014 and the Olympic Summer Games in 2016, were the reason for the Brazilian government and the EU to collaborate in a joint project to develop a smart and interoperable computer-based solution to support emergency and crisis management on the basis of mobile crowdsourcing information. In the project RESCUER (“Reliable and smart crowdsourcing solution for emergency and crisis management”), smart information technology shall be used to develop a more effective and efficient emergency and crisis management system. The consortium comprises nine project partners in Europe and in Brazil, with Fraunhofer IESE being the coordinator of the European consortium. RESCUER will be based on mobile technologies, which almost everyone carries around in the form of a smartphone or tablet these days. This is how the project participants in RESCUER want to support a “mobile crowdsourcing solution” with first responders and eyewitnesses at the place of an incident: People shall voluntarily transmit important information; communication and coordination between the people involved on site and the emergency center shall take place via smartphone. Information will be transmitted via an easy-to-use app that is optimally adapted to the exceptional circumstances in which the user finds himself or herself at the time.