DRH-Asia: Disaster Reduction Hyperbase
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1. Title

Safety confirmation system using GIS and QR code

ID: DRH 50 systeminterface
Hazard: Earthquake

Implementation Oriented Technology (IOT)

Proposer: Koichi Shiwaku
Country: JAPAN;
Date posted: 20 April 2009
Date published: 09 June 2009
Copyright © 2009 Koichi Shiwaku (proposer). All rights reserved.



Koichi Shiwaku (Research Fellow, EDM-NIED)
Mitsuaki Sasaki (Research Fellow, EDM-NIED)
Shigeru Kakumoto (Visiting Researcher, EDM-NIED)
Takashi Furuto (Research Fellow, EDM-NIED)


2. Major significance / Summary

When disaster occurs, community people need to help each other. The proposed system using spatial temporal GIS and QR code help community cooperation in disaster situation especially, response. The system help to collect safety information of each person and identify who need rescue or help promptly.

3. Keywords

Spatial Temporal GIS, QR code, safety confirmation, IT, community, response

II. Categories

4. Focus of this information

Implementation Oriented Technology (IOT)

5. Users

5-1. Anticipated users: Community leaders (voluntary base) , Administrative officers , Municipalities , National governments and other intermediate government bodies (state, prefecture, district, etc.)

5-2. Other users: Local residents

6. Hazards focused


7. Elements at risk

Human lives

III. Contact Information

8. Proposer(s) information (Writer of this template)

Koichi Shiwaku (Research Fellow, EDM-NIED)
Mitsuaki Sasaki (Research Fellow, EDM-NIED)
Shigeru Kakumoto (Visiting Researcher, EDM-NIED)
Takashi Furuto (Research Fellow, EDM-NIED)


9. Country(ies)/region(s) where the technology/knowledge/practice originated



10. Names and institutions of technology/knowledge developers

Shigeru Kakumoto, Mitsuaki Sasaki, Takshi Furuto, and Koichi Shiwaku (EDM-NIED)

11. Title of relevant projects if any


12. References and publications


13. Note on ownership if any


IV. Background

14. Disaster events and/or societal circumstances, which became the driving force either for developing the technology/knowledge or enhancing its practice

Kobe Earthquake occurred in 1995 at Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan.  More than 6,000 people died.  Many people out of 6,000 people died because of house collaptions.  Meantime, most of people under collapsed houses were rescued by community people.  This experience is one of the lessons of Kobe Earthquake.  Community people play important roles for disaster reduction.

In disaster situation, police or self diffence force have difficulties to provide suffient rescue services because of too many injured persons or traffic problems (road problems).  Community people have to survive by themselves especially soon after disasters occurs.    

V. Description

15. Feature and attribute

DiMSIS (Disaster Management Spatial Information System) is a one of GIS.  The characteristic of DiMSIS is that DiMSIS is spatial temporal GIS.  It means that DiMSIS can cope with temporal data as well as spatial data. 

To provide prompt and effective rescue activities, it is necessary for community people to understand who need rescue or help where when.  But it is difficult to find such people directly in disaster situation.  In case of Japan, people are requested to visit evacuation center (e.g. schools) after disasters.  If it is identified who come to evacuation center, it is identified who are not in evacuation center.  People who are not in evacuation center are mainly divided into two types;

1) people who need rescue and can not come to evacuation center

2) people who are outside affected area and can not come to evacuation center. 


It is the concept to develop safety confirmation system.  The most important thing on system development is how system can collect information (who are in evacuation center) promptly and how system can show results effectively. 

As mentioned above, DiMSIS is spatial temporal GIS.  If results show on map properly, it is effective for people to rescue promptly. 

Interface to enter information on safey or damages

Database has linking between house owner and location (coordinates) of his/her house. When people come to evacuation center, system user asks them about family information or any damages and enter information by cliking corresponding information (refer to the above figure).  But it is difficult for system user to enter information promptly and accurately when many people come to evacuation center.      

To collect information promptly, QR code is utilized. QR code is a kind of bar-code.  

This card with QR code is distributed to each house. 

The above card with QR code is distributed to each house before disaster occurs.  This QR code has coordinate of each house which can be available in the system. Reading the QR code by bar-code reader, location of each house and name of house owner can be identified in the system and shown on map and interface to enter other information.  

To enter other information, QR code is also used in order to enter information fast, compared to clicking.  Following figures are the sheets to enter damage information or family information.  

Operation sheet to enter information

Operation sheet to enter information

These sheets is used after identification of family (house owner) through reading QR code of the card distributed to each family.  

Mouse is not used if QR code is utilized.  QR code can reduce time to enter information.



In addition to the function of safety confirmation, the system has following functions;

- Rescue management (who visit where and when with what): This function is human resource management and rescue tools management.

- Identification of passable route : When system user asks people about damages, he/she also aske which route was used to come to school.  This function records which route can be passable or not.  

- Counting: Through reading QR code in evacuation center, it is identified who came to evacuation center.  Counting function shows status of people (e.g. number of people in evacuation center, number of people who need help, and other)        

16. Necessary process to implement

Development of user-friendly system

The user of the proposed system is local community in disaster situation.  All of local people are not specialist of information technology.  Therefore, complicated operation or handling should not used in system.  System developers need to know which kind of interface is user-friendly or which operation is easier for user through discuss with persons who are not familier with information technology or computer.  


User training

The concept of system development is that anybody can use the system easily.  But it does not mean that anybody does not need instruction.  In disaster situation, system developer is not in affected area.  Local community have to use system soon after disasters.  Therefore, user training is necessary before disasters.  But long time training is not necessary.  If such training is necessary, system should be modified.  Photo below shows training by EDM-NIED.  Trainees are house wife and eledery person.  They are not so familier with using computer daily life.     

user training

Understand of QR code by local community

It is possible to enter information without QR code.  But QR code is effective to enter information effectively.  Local community needs to understand how QR code works in the system and are requested to keep QR code with them always.  Evacuation training is one of opportunities for local community to understand the system and QR code.  

17. Strength and limitations


- In emergency situation, infrastructure may be collapse down.  In such situation, internet may not be available.  Web GIS or Web system can not work in such situation.  The system proposed is stand alone and not connecting to network.  Evenif network is stopped in disaster situation, the system works properly.

- The system is easy to use for local people although short training is necessary.  

- It is easy and fast to enter information if QR code is used.  Only bar-code reader and PC are necessary.  



- If people do not come to evacuation center or send information to system, the system can not work effectively.  It means that people can not find people who need rescue or help.  

- To utilize QR code in disaster situation, people are requested to keep QR code always in daily life although it is possible to enter information by clicking.

- QR code has cordinate of each house.  The cordinate can work in only the system.  But some people in Japan hesitate to have QR code because they think QR code is private information and the cordinate may be abused.     

18. Lessons learned through implementation if any

The system was tested in a part of community disaster management training (refer to application examples). Through the training, awareness on disaster reduction was raised as well as enhansing understand of QR code and the system.   

VI. Resources required

19. Facilities and equipments required

- PC which DiMSIS and the system are installed

- Bar-code reader

- Card with QR code which is distributed to each house owner 

20. Costs, organization, manpower, etc.

- Bar-code reader: 600-700 US$

- The system: the system is output of the research.  If necessary, the system can be installed by free. (Spatial Temporal GIS is developed by NIED. Software fee is free for non-commercial use.)

VII. Message from the proposer if any

21. Message


VIII. Self evaluation in relation to applicability

22. How do you evaluate the technology/knowledge that you have proposed?

It is a technology/knowledge that has fair applicability demonstrated by implementation in one or more field sites.


23. Notes on the applicability if any


IX. Application examples


    E1-1. Project name if available

    This is not any project. Local community conducted community based disaster management training once a year. EDM-NIED helped the training and tested the system according to request of local leader.
    Training is one day (2-3 hours).

    E1-2. Place

    Katsura Elementary School, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan

    E1-3. Year


    E1-4. Investor


    E1-5. People involved

    - Coomunity organization
    - EDM-NIED
    - Local community

    E1-6. Monetary costs incurred


    E1-7. Total workload required


     When the training started, local community come to school.  It is a situation that people come to evacuation center when disaster occurs.  The system users (local trained persons) read QR code at the entrance of school and enter information of each house through asking to local people.  

    Local person is using the system in the training.

    Local person is using the system in the training.

    Training which assumed people come to evacuation center after the earthquake.


    In the training, EDM-NIED provided lecture with local community.  The system aims to help effective response activities.  In other words, the system can work in response duration.  In the lecture, EDM-NIED enphasized importance of mitigation and preparedness and the system can just help response.  In addition, it was told to local people how and when the system work effectively and how local people act in disaster situation.  

    Instruction of system

    E1-8. Evidence of positive result

    Before the training, most of local people did not know this kind of system and it was the first time for them to participate in training using the system.  Through the training, many people were interested in the system and QR code.  This is important result as the first step to introduce the system to community.    


    E2-1. Project name if available


    E2-2. Place


    E2-3. Year


    E2-4. Investor


    E2-5. People involved


    E2-6. Monetary costs incurred


    E2-7. Total workload required


    E2-8. Evidence of positive result



    E3-1. Project name if available


    E3-2. Place

    E3-3. Year


    E3-4. Investor


    E3-5. People involved


    E3-6. Monetary costs incurred


    E3-7. Total workload required


    E3-8. Evidence of positive result


X. Other related parallel initiatives if any



XI. Remarks for version upgrade



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