The adverse impacts of natural disasters on lives and livelihoods, as well as regional and local economies, are increasingly evident, and losses to both tangible and intangible cultural heritage due to these disasters pay an important role in the total amount. In fact, damages to sites, structures and artifacts of cultural and historical value, as well as impacts to cultural tourism and the financial resources produce a strong competitive disadvantage to local communities. Emergency decision making, based on awareness of the suffered damages, can have a significant impact in the attempts of improving resilience of the strategic elements; however, this process typically requires a fast overview on large territories.
In this work, we propose a novel framework for obtaining an agile solution to quickly collect and analyze picture galleries and information provided by both internal staff and citizens through commercial mobile devices. This solution virtually generates a network of information sources during emergency time (e.g. a seismic sequence), and allows to produce a situation map in GIS environment and hence support the health status analysis of cultural heritage over time. The paper presents the prototype system composed of: 1) a smartphone application for the acquisition of new information and the examination of existing one; 2) a web-service for exchanging data with databases and 3) a local service that makes use of a proper piece of software for obtaining a 3D reconstruction from new picture galleries. The proposed system results in a scalable, exportable and modular tool useful during the emergency and for preserving memories of local communities.