Culturally "neutral" adaptation of LastQuake app features


Due to a high diversity in its user’s nationality, culture and interest, LastQuake must be developed with cultural neutrality so that it can be adopted and used in all areas. For instance, cartoons, instead of textual contents, are used to determine the intensity of the earthquake, overcoming potential language barriers (Figure 5 in original source). They were developed to be understood all over the world, and have proven to be effectively used (Bossu et al., 2014, 2016). Cartoons shown in Figure 6 (original source) developed and used by EMSC to have the eyewitnesses describe the intensity of an earthquake However, designing culturally neutral functionalities in the app does not prevent different cultural uses of LastQuake as demonstrated in D3.1. Indeed, culture has been found to impact the conversion rate and the comments left by the users for instance. Testimonies conversion rate are found to be higher in regions where earthquakes are rare, compared to highly seismic regions. The importance of local histories for the use of LastQuake was also demonstrated. Moreover, religious culture was found to impact the content of the testimonies. On the whole, LastQuake is a useful tool for citizens and scientists but also for disaster managers. The different types of users correspond not only with different types of needs during a disaster (informational and emotional needs, scientific data, damage identification, etc.) but also different culture (professional or national for instance). To meet its users’ needs, LastQuake must then keep a high level of cultural neutrality.

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