Spatial data acquisition technologies is growing fast, Unmaned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is one of them. Wikipedia defines UAV as a flying machine that works either with remote control by pilots or able to control itself by aerodynamics law to fly, and able to carry any load such as weapons or other equipment. Although initially used for military purposes, currently many people and agencies work with UAV for a variety of needs such as cadastral mapping, agricultural land monitoring, border area monitoring, and capture aerial photographs of an area shortly after disaster.
The fast growing of people/agencies that work with UAV, prompted Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) to initiate a working group that share and cooperate in using UAV for disaster response, since using UAV could save time, money, human resources, and risk due to the difficult terrain in disaster area. It was started with a seminar entitled “The Use of UAV/Drone for Disaster Management” on October 6, 2016 at Grha BNPB, Jakarta. Chief of Data, Information, and Public Relations Division of BNPB, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said that the seminar is the first step of coordination and collaboration among the people/agencies that works with and having experience in using UAV, either from government agencies, academic background, and other actors in disaster. Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) Indonesia, being one of strategic partners of BNPB in exposure mapping, was also invited in the seminar.
Other government agencies that have experiences in using UAV were also invited in the seminar such as Geospatial Information Agency (BIG), Balai Pengkajian dan Penerapan Teknologi (BPPT), Indonesian Army (TNI) Angkatan Darat, National Rescue Team, Indonesian National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN), BPP, Department of Geodetic Engineering Gadjah Mada University (UGM), and Disaster Risk Forum (Forum PRB) of West Java. Those agencies present and share their experience in using UAV. As participants, private sector and non-governemntal agencies also attended the seminar such as Muhammadiyah Disaster Management Centre (MDMC), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affair (UNOCHA), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Indonesian Red Cross (PMI), Petabencana.id and ESRI.
Currently, BNPB has utilized UAV not only for rapid assessment, but also near real time mapping for disaster response thus government’s goal to reduce disaster risk can be achieved. The figure below is an example of the implementation of UAV carried by BNPB to map area affected by flash flood in Garut District.
Cooperation and collaboration have become important for humanitarian purposes either in the method of implementation, the utilization of the photos captured, or in terms of regional coverage during disaster attack; as mentioned by Tri Budiarto, Deputy of Disaster Response Division of BNPB, in the opening session. As the follow up of the seminar, a working group consisting of the participants attending the workshop will be established. The working group is designed to facilitate the communication among those who are experienced in using UAV, either from government, academia, practitioners, or other actors in disaster field. Several goals are expected to be achieved (1) a regulation that manages the utilization of UAV in civil (non-military purposes) should be issued, (2) a centralized repository of UAV data that allow each other to store, share, and use UAV data freely sould be established.
HOT Indonesia welcomes the initiation of the working group. We hope the working group could be established soon, thus if a disaster come HOT Indonesia could utilize the aerial photographs shared in the group to map the state of physical infrastructure in any affected area immediately after disaster attack, and to provide the recent data for BNPB and BPBD (regional disaster management agency).