Title: Image interpreters and interpreted images: an eye tracking study applied to damage assessment
Citation: VALgEO 2011 - 3rd International workshop on validation of geo-information products for crisis management p. 83-91
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2011
JRC N°: JRC67754
ISBN: 978-92-79-21379-3 (print), 978-92-79-21380-9 (PDF)
ISSN: 1018-5593 (print), 1831-9424 (online)
URI: http://ipsc.jrc.ec.europa.eu/fileadmin/repository/globesec/docs/Proceedings_VALgEO_2011.pdf
DOI: 10.2788/74875
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: JRC is exploring the improvement of the human assessment of building damage by applying image enhancement processing before photo-interpretation phase. The JRC has designed a set of experiments to assess the effect of such processing on recognition mechanisms. In the frame of the Geo-Information and Visual Perception project, we apply a cognitive approach to the remotely sensed imagery photo-interpretation process, exploring the possibility to improve the assessment of building damage, traditionally carried out by the time consuming and error prone human interpretation. This task is often performed following disasters to support the information needs of emergency rescue for humanitarian relief intervention. Therefore, while on the one hand there is a high pressure to deliver a result as quickly as possible, on the other hand it is of the highest importance to ensure the quality of the assessment. The ISFEREA action (Globesec Unit, IPSC, JRC) has developed several algorithms aimed at promoting the salience of targets in complex backgrounds, with the purpose of improving semi and fully automatic image information extraction. As a rich plethora of different processing methods could be at the photo-interpreter’s disposal, it becomes increasingly useful to test if different processing methods have an effect on the subjective task performance (quality and speed) of identifying building damage. There are severe limits on our capacity to process visual information, due to the limits of the brain energy and the neuronal activity . Stimuli compete, attention filters. The more a stimulus is attractive, the more likely the information incorporated will be processed . Therefore a processing method should support the interpreter - involved in a damage assessment - in visually filtering the huge amount of information at her/his disposal. As study case, we chose the magnitude 7.0 earthquake in Haiti on 12 January 2010, because of the availability of i) airborne imagery, which resolution allows for visual buildings damage assessment and ii) an official damage assessment, which can be the starting point to measure the task performance.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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