Integrating sense of place into geovisualization of hurricane storm surge

Authors: Olga Wilhelmi*, NCAR, Rebecca Morss, NCAR, Brent Chamberlain, Utah State University, Jennifer Boehnert, NCAR, Julie Demuth, NCAR, Heather Lazrus, NCAR, Jill Gambill, University of Georgia , Greg Dobson, University of North Carolina - Asheville , Danyel Mezzanatto, Utah State University
Topics: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: sense of place, coastal, geovisualization, storm surge, flooding, survey
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 46
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Reducing and managing risks from storm surge are challenging because of the complex nature of the hazard and the inherent uncertainty in storm surge forecasting. Weather forecasters and emergency managers use maps and related geovisualizations to communicate storm surge risks to the public. However, little is known about how these visualizations influence peoples’ understanding and response to risk. We aim to fill this gap by investigating the role of sense of place in geovisualizations of storm surge forecasts. We hypothesize that connecting people to place through theoretically and empirically informed visualizations enhances at-risk populations' understandings of and responses to storm surge threats. This presentation will focus on the project's research questions: How do residents of coastal communities perceive a sense of place in their everyday lives and when hazardous storm surge threatens? What sense of place features matter to people? How can sense of place constructs be integrated into visualization of storm surge threats? How do different ways of representing space and place in storm surge visualizations interact with people's understandings of and responses to the hazards? We will outline a mixed-method interdisciplinary approach that employs an experimental participatory cognitive mapping process, research on and development of innovative storm surge visualizations, and an online survey to test the impact of different types of visualizations. We will present a sense of place typology derived from the focus groups, demonstrate 2D and 3D storm surge visualizations, and discuss results from the 2020 online survey of coastal residents in Georgia and South Carolina.

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