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International Journal of Disaster Risk Science


DesignSafe addresses the challenges of supporting integrative data-driven research in natural hazards engineering. It is an end-to-end data management, communications, and analysis platform where users collect, generate, analyze, curate, and publish large data sets from a variety of sources, including experiments, simulations, field research, and post-disaster reconnaissance. DesignSafe achieves key objectives through: (1) integration with high performance and cloud-computing resources to support the computational needs of the regional risk assessment community; (2) the possibility to curate and publish diverse data structures emphasizing relationships and understandability; and (3) facilitation of real time communications during natural hazards events and disasters for data and information sharing. The resultant services and tools shorten data cycles for resiliency evaluation, risk modeling validation, and forensic studies. This article illustrates salient features of the cyberinfrastructure. It summarizes its design principles, architecture, and functionalities. The focus is on case studies to show the impact of DesignSafe on the disaster risk community. The Next Generation Liquefaction project collects and standardizes case histories of earthquake-induced soil liquefaction into a relational database—DesignSafe—to permit users to interact with the data. Researchers can correlate in DesignSafe building dynamic characteristics based on data from building sensors, with observed damage based on ground motion measurements. Reconnaissance groups upload, curate, and publish wind, seismic, and coastal damage data they gather during field reconnaissance missions, so these datasets are available shortly after a disaster. As a part of the education and community outreach efforts of DesignSafe, training materials and collaboration space are also offered to the disaster risk management community.

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