Postgraduate Profiles

Yinghui Cao

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Thesis: Effective Communication of Household Bushfire Risk Through Web-based Geovisualisation: Considerations in Content, Representation and Design

This PhD project will focus on exploring an effective and efficient method to communicate bushfire risk related information to varying households during a bushfire event, with the aim of facilitating the deployment of risk information, allowing the residents to perceive their own risk more accurately, and promoting the choice of appropriate decisions under stress. A personalised risk communication model will be designed to convey household-specific risk messages and action advices through web-based geovisualisation methods. The communication content, representation methods and system designs will be assessed with domain experts and end-users via a set of evaluation methods. The influence of potential socio-economic and psychological factors on users’ perception of risk geovisualisation will be examined to investigate effective representation methods for different user-group.

Why my research is important

In Australia, bushfire is the fourth most deadly natural hazard after heatwaves, tropical cyclones and floods (Coates, 1999). Assessments of the recent severe bushfire events in Victoria (2009) and Western Australia (2011) identified a lack of appropriate communications as a key factor in the impact of the fires on human lives and properties. Current hazard related message dissemination through mass media outlets (radio, TV and internet, etc.) is often inconsistent with individual needs, too general in terms of geographic scale and message content, and takes time to process.

Bushfire Communication Survey

We are conducting a Bushfire Communication Survey online from Jan 20th, 2014 to March 3rd, 2014. Residents of Kelmscott, Roleystone and Mundaring in WA are all invited to participate. The survey will take less than 20 minutes to complete.

To participate or find out more, please click on the link on the right, or copy and paste the URL below into the address bar of your internet browser:

For any questions, please email: or call +61 8 6488 2813.


Apr 2011