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Communicating Flood Risk Using Esri Story Maps

Bradley Dean, Coastal Scientist, Michael Baker International

Communicating about flood risk and hazard mitigation is challenging and requires storytelling. Our brains are wired to discount facts and the future. During this session, Coastal Scientist Bradley Dean CFM, CE, will explore three use cases for story maps focusing on best practices for communicating flood risk and mitigation initiatives:

• Annapolis, Maryland needed a platform where residents and stakeholders could visualize and interpret the city’s flood mitigation efforts.
• FEMA’s Cooperating Technical Partners’ Recognition Program wanted to showcase award recipients, San Antonio River Authority and Illinois State Water Survey, for their outstanding efforts in a unique way.
• FEMA’s Risk MAP Program needed to increase awareness of non-regulatory flood risk products and their associated benefits for a broader audience.

The solution was to develop story maps which utilize maps, narrative text, and multimedia content to increase accessibility and engage their target audiences. The applications are designed to be attractive and usable by anyone, which makes them great for education and outreach, either to the general public or to a specific audience.
Story maps are an excellent resource to increase local awareness of current and future flood risk and interpret, prioritize, integrate, and implement solutions that reduce risk to enhance community resilience.

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Communicating Flood Risk Using Esri Story Maps

  1. 1. Communicating Flood Risk Using Esri Story Maps
  2. 2. 2 Presentation Outline • Introduction to Behavioral Science • Value of storytelling • What is a story map • Case Studies • Annapolis, Maryland • FEMA Flood Risk Products • Lycoming County, Pennsylvania • Story map best practices
  3. 3. 3 INTRO TO BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE From a non-expert!
  4. 4. 4 The public in the United States doesn't speak with a single voice. They have very different perspectives […] If you want to engage the public effectively, you've got to start where they are—not where you are. Public Perspectives — Anthony Leiserowitz, Director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication
  5. 5. 5 Cognitive Biases Courtesy of Ogilvy Public Relations and • Our brains are complicated! • Understanding how our brains receive and process information helps understand people’s motivations and how they may think about and receive information regarding their risks • Awareness of the cognitive biases and heuristics that will affect how each community member thinks about risk is critical to effectiveness.
  6. 6. 6 Cognitive Bias - The Ikea Effect http://ideasnet.blogspot.com/2015/05/day-9-other-side-of-ikea-effect.html
  7. 7. 7 Resilience Requires Behavior Change Data Knowledge Action
  8. 8. 8 Information Deficit Model – A Misconception!!!!!!
  10. 10. 10 Science of Stories Character-driven stories consistently cause the synthesis of OXYTOCIN, the chemical produced when we are trusted or shown a kindness, and it motivates cooperation with others. Harvard Business Review 2014
  11. 11. 11 The Need for Storytellers • To emotionally feel what other human beings feel that we haven't, in order to live another's pain, joy, heartache, love, etc. (empathy) • To see ourselves in a story: our profession, our position in life • To entertain • To entice, provoke, intellectually stimulate • To inspire
  12. 12. 12 Hurricane Sandy Facts • Death toll of 245 • Made landfall on October 29, 2012 in Atlantic City, NJ • Caused close to $62 billion in damage in the United States • At the height of the storm, over 7.5 million people were without power. • Scientists calculated that coastal wetlands prevented as much as $625 million in property damage.
  13. 13. 13 My Hurricane Sandy Story Photo: Mel Evans, AP
  14. 14. 14 Value of Storytelling Better than fact sharing! There are powerful stories to tell about how communities can drive mitigation action. Stories are… More memorable More powerful More persuasive More effective
  15. 15. 15 Story Maps
  16. 16. • Esri Story Maps are web applications that let authors combine maps with narrative text, images, and multimedia, including video. • Designed to be attractive and usable by anyone, which makes them a powerful communication tool for education and outreach. 16 What is a Story Map?
  17. 17. 17 Story Map Triple Threat • Stories put people in a receptive frame of mind. • People respond to visual stimulation. • Maps communicate in a way that is familiar and universally appealing.
  18. 18. 18 CASE STUDY Annapolis, Maryland
  19. 19. 19 Questions to Answer • What is the purpose of the story map? (Purpose) • Who are we trying to influence? (Who) • What do we want them to DO as a result of this story map? (Call to Action) • What will help people to KNOW this? (Know) • What will help people FEEL this? (Feel)
  20. 20. 20 Annapolis, Maryland
  21. 21. 21 Development Process • Purpose: Develop a product to enhance outreach and engagement regarding cultural resources and flood risk. • Who: Residents, local officials, local stakeholders, city staff, resilience community • Call to Action: Support mitigation actions and political decisions which encourage proactive hazard mitigation planning. Provide input into decision making. Get involved. • Know: Approachable language, relevant references, events calendar, etc. • Feel: Interactive map tour, compelling flooding imagery, crowdsourcing, google surveys, etc.
  22. 22. 22 Creating an Understanding - Empathy
  23. 23. 23 A Strategic Approach
  24. 24. 24 Engagement
  25. 25. 25 Identifying a Threshold
  26. 26. 26 Potential Adaptation Measures
  27. 27. 27 Get Involved
  28. 28. 28 CASE STUDIES FEMA: Flood Risk Products FEMA: Learning from Lycoming
  29. 29. 29 FEMA Flood Risk Products Story Maps
  30. 30. 30 Development Process Purpose: • Communicate a general awareness of the data and information available through FEMA’s Flood Risk Products • Convey flood risk products datasets can be a valuable tool for visualizing and understanding a community’s flood risk and for informing decisions Who: Community officials & staff, local floodplain administrators, public works, and all audiences. Call to Action: • Interact with the subsequent Lycoming County, PA case study. • Know where and how to access their community’s Flood Risk Products. Know: Approachable language, relevant references, custom infographics, etc. Feel: Compelling imagery, communicating a success story, relatable storylines
  31. 31. 31 Flood Risk Products Overview
  32. 32. 32 Flood Risk Products Overview
  33. 33. 33 Flood Risk Products Overview
  34. 34. 34 Flood Risk Products Overview
  35. 35. 35 Flood Risk Products Overview
  36. 36. 36 Flood Risk Products Overview
  37. 37. 37 Learning from Lycoming
  38. 38. 38 Flood Risk Products Overview
  39. 39. 39 Flood Risk Products Overview
  40. 40. 40 Flood Risk Products Overview
  41. 41. 41 Flood Risk Products Overview
  42. 42. 42 Flood Risk Products Overview
  43. 43. 43 Flood Risk Products Overview
  44. 44. 44 Best Practices
  45. 45. 45 Have a Good Story to Tell
  46. 46. 46 Don’t Just Data Dump http://smartcalling.com/dont-data-dump-prospects/
  47. 47. 47 Consider Your Audience www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/ux-research-communication-know-your-audience
  48. 48. 48 What we think it looks like! What it really looks like! Brainstorm & Draw it Out
  49. 49. 49 Do Not Overwhelm www.productivenerd.org/home/when-im-overwhelmed
  50. 50. 50 Be Interesting AND Informative images.huffingtonpost.com/2014-03-06-informativeinterestingrelevant-thumb.png
  51. 51. 51 Avoid Linking to Outside Websites www.encognitive.com/node/18369
  52. 52. 52 Length Matters
  53. 53. 53 Just Because
  54. 54. 54 Collaborate www.warmclient.com/smart-businesses-collaborate
  55. 55. 55 Most Important Lesson for Risk Communication
  56. 56. 56 Communication is Imperfect Effective communication is inherently imperfect because we as human beings are imperfect.
  57. 57. 57 Create a Connection No matter the subject, your goal is not simply to educate and inform. Your goal is to establish a commonality, to create a connection, and to compel your audience to act. http://www.jaxxsunconsulting.com/daari-part-2-action/
  58. 58. 58 Communication is a Pathway to Influence Influence: the power or capacity of causing an effect in indirect or intangible ways -Merriam Webster- https://azmenatwork.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/person-of-influence/
  59. 59. 59 Become an Influencer As a communicator, your goal is not to strive for excellence, but rather to strive for influence.
  60. 60. 60 Thank You Bradley Dean Bradley.Dean@MBakerIntl.com