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Tools & Apps

GEM Inventory Data Capture Tools

The GEM Inventory Data Capture Tools (IDCT) risk global component developed a set of tools and accompanying user protocols to enable users to collect and modify building exposure information, which can be input into the Global Exposure Database and the Global Earthquake Consequences Database. The four tools developed within this initiative are listed below.

Android Mobile Inventory Capture tool
The Android Mobile Inventory Capture tool was created to enable users to collect building exposure information on the field, which can be input into the Global Exposure Database and the Global Earthquake Consequences Database. This tool has been developed for devices using the Android operating system and it uses a map interface to mark survey points, and define a number of attributes about the structural characteristics (taxonomy) and eventual earthquake damage."

The Android Mobile Inventory Capture tool can be found on the Google Play store. The respective user guide has been uploaded here

Spatial Inventory Data Development (SIDD) Tool
The Spatial Inventory Data Development (SIDD) tool was designed as a tool to simplify complex processes that structural engineers and GIS analysts must undertake to develop exposure models, by combining ground observations and/or remotely sensed sources, with “mapping schemes” or statistical summaries of construction type, occupancy, era, and story height within “homogenous zones”, or areas with sufficiently similar structure type distribution."

The SIDD tool can be downloaded here, and the respective user guide has been uploaded here.

Windows Tool for Field Data Collection and Management
The Windows Tool for Field Data Collection and Management was created to enable users to collect building information, and it can also be employed to manage and modify exposure data collected using other ground observations tools such as the Android Mobile Inventory Capture Tool.

The Windows Tool for Field Data Collection and Management can be downloaded here, and the respective user guide has been uploaded here.

Building RECognition tool (BREC)

Algorithms for automatically extracting building footprints are provided as a plug-in toolbar to QGIS. These have evolved from the Building RECognition tool (BREC), developed by Paolo Gamba, Fabio Dell'Acqua, Gianni Cristian Iannelli, and Gianni Lisini, of the University of Pavia, and have been customised for use in the IDCT suite.  

Ticinum Aerospace, a spin-off from the University of Pavia, has generously updated BREC4GEM to work with QGIS version 2.x as a contribution to the shared goal of risk assessment and mitigation. The ported BREC4GEM tools will allow QGIS 2.x users to continue using the BREC4GEM plugin to extract risk-related information from 'large-scale' Earth-Observation data.

Download here and find the user manual here.

GEM Building Taxonomy and Glossary

GEM Building Taxonomy aims to provide a very comprehensive global classification scheme for buildings, and capture all different building types that exist around the globe; it is accompanied by tools that allow to easily work with the building taxonomy.

The Taxonomy and Glossary are being used as a basis for the global exposure database and the global consequences database, as well as by the inventory data capture tools, for adding new information on buildings to the OpenQuake platform. But it can be used beyond GEM, to facilitate global collaboration and growth of joint knowledge on the diversity of seismic vulnerability of all the buildings that exist around the globe.

Together with EERI’s World Housing Encyclopedia team, the GEM Building Taxonomy consortium worked to deliver the following products and resources, which will continue to be enhanced through the community engagement:

Taxt v4.0 interface

How can I contribute?

To enhance the GEM Building Taxonomy v2.0 and make it a live global resource, we have developed the TaxT v4.0 tool, a Windows-based computer application, which enables a user to record information about a building or a building typology using 13 attributes of the GEM Building Taxonomy v2.0. The attributes have been divided into the following four groups, which are shown as separate tabs on the TaxT screen:

  1. Structural system (attributes: Direction; Material of the Lateral Load-Resisting System; and Lateral Load-Resisting System)
  2. Building information (attributes: Height; date of Construction or Retrofit; and Occupancy);
  3. Exterior attributes (attributes: Building Position within a Block; Shape of the Building Plan; Structural Irregularity; and Exterior Walls),and
  4. Roof/floor/foundation (attributes: Roof; Floor; and Foundation).

To download the Taxt v4.0 zip file (containing Taxt v4.0, a user guide and a license document), click here. For Mac users click here

Controbutions to the GEM Building Taxonomy can easily be submitted online. TaxT reports will provide a resource on the building typologies in different countries around the world, and feed this information to test the data inside the Global Exposure Database.

For an overview of the application of the GEM Building Taxonomy and Glossary.

OpenQuake Engine V1.0

After 2.5 years of open-source test-driven development, the first version of the OpenQuake Engine v 1.0 is now available, together with user instruction manuals and demo-files (installed with the engine).

The OpenQuake engine is GEM’s state-of-the-art  software for seismic hazard and risk assessment at varying scales of resolution, from global to local. It can be used on a laptop, in the cloud or on a cluster. It is open-source, fully transparent and can be used with GEM or user-developed models. The Engine can be used for hazard and physical risk assessment and includes the following calculators and features:

Hazard Calculators and Outputs

  • classical Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Assessment (PSHA): hazard curves, maps, Uniform Hazard Spectra (UHS), disaggregation;
  • event based hazard: earthquake rupture forecasts (i.e. complete event set), stochastic event sets (samples of the earthquake rupture forecast), event-based ground-motion fields (i.e. intensity footprints), hazard curves;
  • scenario hazard: ground motion fields.

Physical Risk Calculators and Outputs

  • classical PSHA-based: asset-specific loss exceedance curves, loss maps, building typology disaggregation
  • event based risk: event loss tables (i.e. loss for each event in the stochastic event sets), loss exceedance curves - asset-specific and aggregated, average annual loss, event and building typology disaggregation
  • scenario risk: loss statistics, loss maps
  • scenario damage: damage statistics, collapse maps


Ready to get started? Request your OpenQuake Alpha Testing Service (OATS) account.