Geoscience Australia developed Australian Exposure Information Platform as a free to use, web-based tool for people to create exposure reports across Australia. It was released in 2019 and allowed users to create the reports on demand regardless of the scalp or extent of such reports. It is an avenue for Australians to get nationally consistent and accurate exposure information. This is quite important for decision-makers in all sectors.
The Exposure information provides information on businesses, people, buildings, infrastructure assets, public facilities, agricultural commodities and environmental holdings. This makes it extremely useful for anyone in any sector.
The project is a result of the Council of Australian Government reform commitment to improving the ability of Australia to manage natural disasters or any other emergency. The development started long ago in 2002 when Geoscience Australia started developing the National Exposure Information System (NEXIS) project. Later on in 2013, the Bushfire and Natural Hazard Cooperative Research Centre of Geoscience Australia embarked on a three-year research project in collaboration with the University of Canberra and University of Melbourne. The purpose of this research was to create a comprehensive and detailed Natural Hazard Exposure Information Framework which will describe in detail and categorise exposure information elements in a consistent manner that can be used as a reference in developing exposure information systems in the future.
In 2018, Geoscience Australia partnered with the Bushfire & Natural Hazard CRC to create Australian Exposure Information Platform. The AIEP was designed to provide accurate and consistent information for the key stakeholders who are involved in risk assessment, emergency management situation awareness, disaster management, and impact analysis research.
Thus, the AEIP combines all the extensive and comprehensive works of NEXIS and Natural Hazard Exposure Information Framework to give user’s direct and easy access to Exposure information for the whole of Australia. Exposure Reports provides a comprehensive and easy to understand statistical summary of elements based on the user’s defined area of interest.
There are two self-serve approaches to access the reports.
Collect the Australian Exposure Information that you need within Geoscience Australia interactive mapping application and use the tools on the application to draw, select, or upload a geographic extent, after which you can submit a request for a customised Exposure Report.
This is another application with a programming interface created for software developers who want to integrate the exposure reports capability within their own systems. It allows custom applications to be connected directly to access the Australian Exposure Information through a user-defined area of interest.
The exposure reports created by this platform gives users access to critical information required for decision making, before, during, or after a hazard event like a pandemic or a bushfire. It is a very detailed report that gives a comprehensive statistical summary of the exposure.
This covers information such as the number of people, residential buildings, other structures and buildings, environmental and agricultural assets, etc. that would be affected when a hazard event occurs. It should be noted that AEIP doesn’t report on the impact of a hazard event.
Before the development of the AEIP, exposure reports were something that took the staff of the Geoscience Australia days, weeks, and even months to manually create depending on the area it covers, and everyone was required to work around the clock to create the reports. Now it can be accessed free of charge any time of the day, and it takes a short time to create one. Anyone from anywhere in Australia can create a report now within minutes.
The platform provides accessible snapshots of all assets within a geographical area, thereby giving everyone a clear projection of the risks attached to any hazard. The information provided by this platform can be used for operational decision making as well as mitigation of any hazard that may occur. Thus, it helps to save a life, improve safety, and reduce damages to natural landscapes and property. It is a versatile tool that can be used by town planners, researchers, and anyone planning to make a geographical or environmental decision.
The AEIP created more than 14000 exposure reports to guide decision-makers and help reduce the economic impact and loss of lives during the Black Summer. During COVID-19, several customised reports were also prepared using the AEIP for the Department of Health based on the aggregation levels in three geographical areas. The reports were then compared and integrated with other health data to determine the right approach to use in dealing with the pandemic.