Factors affecting earthquake responders’ building damage information needs and use

Publication type

Journal Article

Research Area

Risk and Society


After an earthquake, many responding organizations need to understand the scale and distribution of building damage to react effectively. However, their building damage information needs and information use remain poorly understood, limiting the efficacy of information production, sharing, and research. To clarify those needs, we conducted a two-part survey, comprising semi-structured interviews and an online questionnaire, of building damage information users and providers. Based on the interview data and questionnaire responses, we characterize six post-disaster tasks that rely on building damage information by their timing and by the necessary qualities of the information they require. Through inductive analysis of the interview data, we show that responders’ use of building damage information also depends on factors beyond the building damage information itself—namely, trust, impediments to information sharing, their varying understandings of disaster, and their attitudes toward emerging technologies. These factors must be considered in the design of any effort to create and/or disseminate post-disaster building damage information.


Building damage, damage map, information use, Post-earthquake damage, post-earthquake information needs, task analysis

Publication Details


Earthquake Spectra

Date Published


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