Addressing Landslide Issue in Sri Lanka Using a Web-based Mobile Application

Silva, Chathura
Petrova, Krassie
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Master of Philosophy
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Auckland University of Technology

This research is focused on creating a web-based mobile application to address the Landslide issue in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is a tropical country which suffers from Landslides continuously due to primarily the monsoon rain season and geographical terrain factors. Rain-induced Landslides affect the lives of the people, their public and private properties, the infrastructure of the country as well as the national economy. The south-western and central provinces are the most highly affected areas in the country. Due to the dynamic weather changes and unpredictable causal factors of the Landslides, it is difficult to predict this hazard. Sri Lanka is a third world country and the government struggles with limited resources to help the victims who suffer from this catastrophe.

The Web and mobile technology are two technological mechanisms which can be used for convenient data gathering and interactive information sharing. This research hasdeveloped a web-based mobile solution which can represent information which is related to Landslides in Sri Lanka in a convenient and interactive manner. Due to the fact that the outcome of this research is a technical prototype, Design Science Research (DSR) methodology is the desired methodology for this study. This study will structure its research process to reflect on the vital phases of DSR. A literature review process, a development process and an evaluation process will be carried out to determine the desired outcome.

The data are fetched through web sources and the processed data will be visualized on the geospatial map interface of the application which uses the Google Map Application Platform Interface (API). The heavy rainfall is the primitive factor for the rain-induced Landslides in Sri Lanka. The weather history and weather forecasts are fetched through AccuWeather Web API. The locations of the previous Landslide events are fetched from the Global Landslide Index API by NASA. The National Building Research Organization is the governmental body which sketches the hazard prone locations which could trigger a potential landslide. Those maps are purely paper based and through a web tool, those sketches are converted into map coordinates and will be displayed on the map interface.

Apart from that, users are given an interface to input data by creating markers on the map application which are the factors of Landslides. Those markers are validated through a social proofing process. Also, users can create campaigns through the application to share resources among the victims. These are the main functionalities of the intended application which are linked to the research objectives. Those functionalities are precisely illustrated in the development phase of the methodology which uses iterative prototyping as its Software development Life Cycle (SDLC).

Furthermore, this technical solution will be evaluated through a questionnaire. The focus group consists of ten people from the south-western provinces in the country. The discussion is carried out using the feedback given by the participants as it relates to the effectiveness, benefits, weaknesses, further required development and limitations of the solution.

Frontend Development , Web , Mobile Applications , Landslides , Sri Lanka
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