Augmented reality apps for assessment and/or diagnosis of building damage after disaster 

Key challenges in evaluating large scale damage to buildings after earthquakes are:

  • observing damage because street surveys cannot take into account internal damage;
  • estimating damage because damage can be overlooked or underestimated, depending on the quality and orientation of the photographs, especially for the lower damage grades;
  • scale because traditional assessments depend on expert analysis and the number of people on the ground with the right experience and training may be limited;
  • doing assessment remotely depends on reliable data (ie good photgraphs) and
  • these approaches often miss the opportunity for helping "non-expert" citizens to learn about damage types and diagnosis as they take photographs of their homes and neighbourhoods.

Three cool things to do about this would be to:

  • develop an app to help people take "good photographs (of damage)" and
  • build into those apps any relevant learning/information on basic mitigation and principles for building back safer
  • build on platforms that do this already (i.e. AirBnB's photo repositories and their network of local photographers...)