Risk & Disaster Management – AssessRisk Pilot Project for the World Bank with GeoNode

Sharing data and information related to risk management is a stringent necessity. Natural events have an ever-increasing impact on global population and assets, mostly in areas with reduced capabilities to deal with emergencies. Disaster management, prevention, and planning activities require access to the most up to date and detailed information available for a geographic area. Often data resides in some remote corners of the web hardly discoverable or, in the worst case, is kept segregated in local storage reducing or completely cancelling its value. Moreover, data often lacks fundamental information (metadata) regarding its contents and formats. The GFDRR group of World Bank tried to tackle this within the second round of its “Challenge Fund” initiative. One of its goals was designing a common data model to store and share data about exposures, hazards and vulnerabilities, and a web platform to ingest, explore and download these data.

GeoSolutions was contracted for its design and development. The project has been based on a lightweight User Centered Design approach, doing interviews to stakeholders and collecting suggestions from domain experts. The result of this phase was a mockup that in a few weeks has become the base of the AssessRisk Platform.

AssessRisk Sample Mockup

The platform improved new functionalities and thanks to a great set of tools GeoSolutions were able to go online in a couple of months:

  • GeoNode: it provides the metadata services the and layers views management
  • Geoserver: (OGC) map services and layers styling
  • Django: a dedicated project has been implemented to expose custom APIs and extending GeoNode functionalities
  • MapStore and React: the frontend is completely based on MapStore (our flagship frontend framework) and new specific React components.

The final result is a portal that let users explore Exposures, Hazards and Vulnerabilities data currently available oveer the world.

AssessRisk Portal Homepage

AssessRisk Portal Homepage

The original dataset are split into single layers, that can be searched and filtered through the AssessRisk portal frontend. From the portal a preview of the geographical area covered by the layer, and a preview of the layer content themselves, is shown on the contextual map. A user can add a layer to the map, to keep it around while continuing navigating through the catalog. Being in sync with the area currently shown on the map, the catalog helps the user obtaining only the relevant layers for the context currently explored. For each layer a Detail view provides insights on the specific layer’s contents, according to the layer type and contents. As an example, for exposures a chart with the number of occurrences by construction material or type of occupancy is shown.

During the exploration the user is able to add each layer to a Download area, a functionality is similar to common e-store “shopping cart”. From this area layers can be selected to submit a download orders, that will be managed by the HEV-E platform asynchronously. A notification or an email will be sent to the user to communicate when the requested files are ready for download. A URL to the Shapefiles or GeoPackage (the format depends on layer type and user preferences) will be provided for direct download.

AssessRisk Download Area

It is always a pleasure to collaborate with institutions like the World Bank, UN FAO, UN WFP and so on in order to try and tackle challenging problems that are affecting so many people in the world and take a little part in all these valuable efforts!

If you are interested in learning about how we can help you achieving your goals with open source products like GeoServerMapStoreGeoNode and GeoNetwork through our Enterprise Support Services Subscription Services or Professional Training Services offer, feel free to contact us!

The GeoSolutions Team,




  • MapStore