Over the last decade growth in spatial information use for disaster management has been considerable. Maps and spatial data are now recognized as critical elements in each of the four phases of disaster management: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. The use of spatial information to support the phases of mitigation, preparedness and response to bushfires is widely understood. Less attention, however, has been given to the role of spatial information in the recovery. Moreover, the application of the spatially enabled society concept to bushfire recovery has not been explored. This paper explores the role that spatial information plays and could play in the recovery phase of a bushfire disaster.
The bushfires in Victoria, Australia that took place during Feb 2009 are used as the primary case study. It is found that: Spatial information for recovery requires a pre-existing infrastructure; Spatial capacity must be developed across agencies dealing with recovery; Spatially enabled address and parcel information are the key dataset required to support all recovery tasks; Spatial integration of bushfire datasets (spread and intensity) require linking with planning regimes, and Spatial information that is volunteered could be incorporated into recovery activities.