Why are we looking at landslides?

Landslides cause billions of dollars in infrastructural damage and thousands of deaths every year around the world.

However, to date we do not have a global picture of exactly where and when landslides occur owing to their small size and difficulty in identifying their onset and extent when no one is around to witness their impacts. The Cooperative Open Online Landslide Repository (COOLR) project provides an open platform where scientists and citizen scientists around the world can share landslide reports to guide awareness of landslide hazards for improving scientific modeling and emergency response. Scientists and citizen scientists can submit landslides to the Landslide Reporter web application, or submit landslide inventories directly to us. All the data submitted is made available on the data portal Landslide Viewer, which shows referenced and imported landslide inventories from all over the world.

Reported fatalities from rainfall-triggered landslides, recorded in the GLC, 2007-2017
The distribution of reported fatalities from 10,804 rainfall-triggered landslides in the NASA Global Landslide Catalog (GLC), 2007-2017. White dots represent incidents with zero reported fatalities. Dots in the color scale from pink to red represent incidents with fatalities in the range of 1-5000. Image from NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio.

What is COOLR?

The Cooperative Open Online Landslide Repository (COOLR) is a worldwide inventory of landslide events. COOLR currently includes:

  • NASA’s Global Landslide Catalog (GLC),
  • Landslide Reporter Catalog (LRC): Landslide events contributed by citizen scientists (like you!) through Landslide Reporter (see the Report a Landslide page), and
  • Collated landslide inventories from other institutions added by REST API or imported directly into COOLR.
structure of COOLR
The structure showing the data within the Cooperative Open Online Landslide Repository (COOLR).

Why are citizen scientists needed?

Our team at NASA has been collecting landslides around the world since 2007 in the Global Landslide Catalog (GLC). The GLC provides new insight into landslide hazards around the world, but it has been a manual and very time consuming process that is hard to maintain. In fact, if we sum up all the hours it has taken over the past 10 years to compile this inventory it would total over 140 days, 84 work weeks, or 1.6 years of straight landslide cataloging! The inventory is also challenged by biases affecting where and when landslide information is available (for more details please see the Publications).

We are appealing to the global citizen science community to help advance our knowledge of where and when landslides are happening around the world by adding reports to fill in the gaps in our data, creating the Cooperative Open Online Landslide Repository (COOLR). Citizen scientists are people like you who can use their knowledge to advance scientific research and grow our collective understanding of this pervasive hazard.

Citizen science can help:
  1. Find information from many different sources, and with as little bias as possible, including local first-hand accounts, reports in other languages, and points from other inventories for a robust landslide repository
  2. Collect recent landslides and keep the repository up-to-date
  3. Create more awareness and education about landslides as a natural process and natural/man-made hazard

With the help of citizen scientists like you, we can improve both the quantity and quality of open landslide data to provide a clearer picture of how landslides are shaping our world.

Become a citizen scientist today
Two satellite images of a 5.5 million cubic meters landslide in the Sunkosi (Sunkoshi) River Valley, northern Nepal, that killed 156 people. The first picture was taken September 2013, and the second was taken September 2014, about a month after the landslide happened on August 2, 2014. Images by Jesse Allen using Landsat data from the US Geological Survey. Read more at NASA Earth Observatory.

What happens to the data?

Landslides collected in COOLR help NASA scientists with their research. COOLR is used to validate the Landslide Hazard Assessment for Situational Awareness (LHASA) model being developed at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). COOLR data is compared to the LHASA model "nowcasts" to verify the accuracy of the model. Since most landslides occur in places with no observations, it is not possible to verify its accuracy in all areas. We need a more robust landslide inventory to improve this model, which is where citizen science can help. For links to the LHASA publication and more information about the model, see the Resources page.

The global data is also openly available online for other scientific groups to view and download, on the data portal Landslide Viewer. If you use COOLR in your research publication, we request that you reference the data following the citation instructions on the COOLR Data page.

Next Steps: Get Started with COOLR

Visit Report Landslides to find out how you can access the data, learn more about landslides, and contribute to advancing landslide science and emergency response by adding your own reports.

Report Landslides »

Frequently Asked Questions

General
No, we do not store any personally identifiable information. We ask you to log into Google or Facebook so that the system can generate a unique user ID (a random string of letters and numbers) for you so you can see all of your submitted landslides in Landslide Reporter, but we cannot use that user ID to identify you nor is it publicly-available information. For more details about privacy, please refer to our Privacy statement.


Landslide Reporter
If the submission hasn’t been checked by our team yet, you may edit it under My Submissions. You can access My Submissions after logging into Landslide Reporter by clicking on your name or the menu icon in the top right corner the screen. Then, click on the report you want to edit, and click the pencil icon or trash icon in the top right-hand corner to edit or delete the report. Once it has been evaluated by a member of the COOLR team and put into the public database, the report can no longer be changed.

Unfortunately, you cannot see all your past reports in one place after they have been accepted and put in COOLR due to the way our privacy and validation processes work. You can navigate and find them in Landslide Viewer, but we do not show your account's system-generated user ID to the public for privacy purposes.

Yes, all reports submitted through Landslide Reporter are quality-checked for accuracy and detail by members of the team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.


Data Download and Analysis
Yes! The Cooperative Open Online Landslide Inventory (COOLR) is publicly available to download from the Landslide Viewer page. We ask that you provide a citation link to the website or, for published articles, cite the dataset following the guidelines in the COOLR Data page.

COOLR is used to validate the Landslide Hazard Assessment for Situational Awareness (LHASA) model being developed at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. COOLR data is compared to the LHASA model "nowcasts" to verify the accuracy of the model. However, since most landslides occur in places with no observations, it is not possible to verify its accuracy in all areas. We need a more robust landslide inventory to improve this model, which is where citizen science can help. For links to the LHASA publication and more information about the model, see the Resources page.


Connect with Us

Twitter: @LandslideReport
Facebook: LandslideReporter
SciStarter: Join us on our project page

Connect with the Community

Google Groups: Landslide Reporter Community

Contact Us

For any questions related to this system, please contact landslide_support@nccs.nasa.gov.