Version 13 (modified by Fran Boon, 14 years ago) ( diff )


Blue Print for Survey Tool


In the recovery period after disasters and crisis's, organizations need to collect information about affected people to plan activities better and to assess the impact of those activities. Surveys are also important prior to disasters to assess to vulnerability of populations and help them to better respond to hazards.





  • Users would be able to design their our surveys, which will be a collection of questions (possibly divided by section)
  • A User may add a new questions or select from the "inventory" of questions which have already been added.
  • Questions may be:
    • Qualitative (text) or quantitative (number, boolean, list), or associated with a resource in the database (Person, location, organization, etc)
    • Have additional notes and criteria attached to them (perhaps some notes which are only displayed for someone reading out the survey in an interview situation)
    • Tagged with key words, organizations or sectors
    • Associated with the Surveys it appears on
    • Linked to results of previous surveys
  • The Survey will be able to be printed off and also filled in on the computer


  • The user should be able to record narrative text and upload files to link with the results of the survey.
  • The results should be shown as:
    • Raw data (could be exported to Excel or SPSS)
    • Summary Data (should also be easy to export to Excel, or a word publisher)
    • Graphs (should be easy to export)
    • Summary Fact Sheet (including narrative, data and graphs - easily exported or printed)


  • The tool will contain a record of all previous surveys which have been created and conducted.
  • The tool will enable users to "publish" surveys, questions and results to a central public instance to (when a new survey is created the user can choose whether to make that survey public or private)



  • Allow each question to have a weight (The same question may have a custom weight in different surveys) which can be used to calculate a total grading for a survey, or a section of the survey.
  • Associate a colour code with the answer to a question
  • Allow the survey to be conducted on a mobile device
  • Import the results of the survey using BluePrintOCR (requires generating the printed forms properly)
  • Allow the survey to be conducted by SMS / Text Message
  • Link to BluePrintMessagingModuleJ2ME for surveys which can be submitted by mobile phone
  • Use OpenDataKit Voice for surveys which can be done using voice via IVR
  • BluePrintReporting


  • Allow the graphs and summary fact sheet to be customized
  • Show the change in results between the same survey conducted at different times.
  • Display the results overlaid on a map.

Example Applications

Post-earthquake Building Assessment

By Gavin Treadgold A colleague of mine lead a New Zealand team of earthquake engineers to Padang last October following the earthquake to assess their structures. Whilst the assessment process worked well, management of the captured information was not as good as it could have been (they used a spreadsheet), and as a result, I'd like to suggest a project to develop a module to capture assessment information about buildings and structures. Any given building/structure may have multiple assessments through response and recovery and they will vary in detail (e.g. first may be very quick, second may be 72 hours later, and a detailed assessment may to 2-3 weeks or more to occur). As far as I'm aware, there are 2-3 key assessment processes and forms being used:

  1. US Applied Technology Council - ATC-20-1 Field Manual: Postearthquake Safety Evaluation of Buildings: Second Edition <> - note that this appears to be non-free.
  2. New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering - Building Safety Evaluation in a State of Emergency (note that this has been derived from the ATC work) <>
  3. Italy - some Italians have also developed a methodology for assessment, but other than awareness of it, I don't have more details to hand. I do know it was used following the L-Aquila earthquake <>

My preferred and selfish approach would be to have a student implement the NZSEE forms for GSOC, as I have ready access to a number of members that went to Padang, have their spreadsheet that they used, and can obtain their feedback. In addition, the NZSEE methodology is more recent (2009 vs 2005) than the ATC material. It is also more openly accessible.

In addition to capturing assessment information about buildings based upon the forms contained in the guidelines, there also needs to be the ability capture scanned sketches (e.g. basic plan views - these may be photographed/more likely or scanned/less likely) and attach images (non-georeferenced and georeferenced) showing the building and structural damge. The NZ team took 6 Garmin Oregon 550 GPS units that have built-in 3.2MP geotagging cameras - so implementation of support for geotagged images would need to be implemented (if not already in place). I would also like some thought given as to how we can package multiple assessments up in XML that can be packaged in EDXL to make it easier to share this assessment information.

Sample Forms

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