An emergency is an extraordinary situation that occurs unexpectedly and endangers or adversely affect people’s life which demands immediate attention. Thus design of a suitable method is necessary for quick response to such situations. Location is the most vital element required by the emergency responders to help the people in distress. In emergency situations generally there is an urgency of immediate attention and help. Thus determining the location of the people who are in need of help is urgently required. In emergency situations, conveying location through phone calls is not efficient as they are time consuming. Voice based emergency notification are difficult in cases where the people themselves have little or no knowledge of their location, which further delay the process. Furthermore, in many cases the people under distress are not able to convey their exact location to the response teams. Location based services (LBS) involves providing services to the mobile user based on his current location provided by the onboard GPS on the mobile device. OGC Open GeoSMS encoding standard allows communicating the location information inside a text message using a short message service (SMS). SMS is widely used by the mobile users for exchanging short messages. This study discusses how OGC Open GeoSMS standard could be helpful in emergency scenarios. Here an android based LBS application is developed based on the OGC Open GeoSMS standard which allows the person in need to send the emergency notification via ‘Geotag SMS’ to the concerned emergency responders for help. Further a Web application is also developed which provides an interactive WebGIS interface to the emergency response teams in the control center, enabling the receiving and displaying the emergency services request (SMS’s) as pushpins on the map in real–near time. The web application used to receive the request was developed by customizing open source ‘Ushahidi’ platform. WebGIS application allows them to take immediate actions like dispatching rescue teams etc.

Location Based Services for Emergency Management using Open Source Tools

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