Potential of using big data for disaster resilience: the case of Sri Lanka

Akila Rathnasinghe*, Udayangani Kulatunga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The epoch of big data is evolving new possibilities for Disaster Management (DM). The concept of Big Data has been constantly scrutinised in terms of data creation, storage, retrieval, and analysis where professionals have identified its significance upon the volume, velocity and variety. Big Data provides the opportunity to gather more information in less time. Hence, analysis of Big Data can substantially enhance various disaster resilience activities such as issuing early warnings for evacuations; help emergency response personnel to identify areas that need urgent attention; coordination of disaster management activities; and to identify the most effective response methods for various situations. Therefore, Big Data is identified as a great catalyst for disaster response and, for better understanding of the damage situation and decision-making. Moreover, Big Data has the potential to improve disaster resilience by connecting people, processes, data and technology. However, it is essential to understand the type of Big Data that needs to be generated, to develop the data analysis as in necessary to help with real time responses, decision making and tracking of disaster victim. In order to accomplish the aim, a qualitative research approach was followed. This topical study marked the importance of big data in predicting human behavioral patterns during a disaster. Accordingly, the effective management of human and physical resources in habitual disaster territories was appraised through existing case studies in developed countries. Further, the research has successfully identified the challenges in employing Big Data upon its legal and technological barriers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 8th world construction symposium 2019
Subtitle of host publicationTowards a smart, sustainable and resilient built environment
EditorsY.G Sandanayake, S. Gunatilake, K.G.A.S. Waidyasekara
Place of PublicationColombo
PublisherCeylon Institute of Builders
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes
EventThe Eight World Construction Symposium: Towards a Smart, Sustainable and Resilient Built Environment - Galadari Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Duration: 8 Nov 201910 Nov 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the world construction symposium
PublisherCeylon Institute of Builders
ISSN (Print)2362-0919


ConferenceThe Eight World Construction Symposium
Abbreviated titleWCS-2019
Country/TerritorySri Lanka
Internet address


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