Problem and Context
Nepal is the 11th most vulnerable country in the world in terms of earthquake risk. Its capital, Kathmandu ranks as the most vulnerable city in the world. Kathmandu Valley hosts three major cities of Nepal. The valley is home to 3 million people and to the constrained resources which support them. In the face of a major quake, most of these resources will be seriously damaged; majority of this population will either be injured, maimed for life or dead. This risk is largely associated with building collapse.
Mitigation of risk and preparation for response require assessment of building structures as the first step. The lack of readily accessible building exposure data has hampered the assessment work.
Building on our on-going mapping work on OpenStreetMap, we have been collecting exposure data for individual buildings in Kathmandu Valley. This data will be shared via OpenStreetMap for enabling Nepal's disaster community to accurately assess the scale of possible damage and inspire innovative approaches to address the problem.
As a pilot project, we have successfully captured building exposure data in wards 4 and 5 of Kathmandu Metropolitan City. We have also completed preliminary analysis of this data to generate building typology. Currently, we are documenting our methodology and lessons learned to expand this work to other areas.
The exposure data will give a clearer picture of building typology based on their structures. Accurate understanding of building structures and number of likely casualties will help effective mitigation and preparation for disasters, potentially saving many lives.
Additionally, freely accessible building location and exposure data will reduce data duplication cost and also stimulate solutions to urban planning and management issues in the valley. Eventually, this work will contribute to provide better urban services to citizens.