Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.


Access Type

Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Document Type


Degree Program

Electrical & Computer Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering (M.S.E.C.E.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



We present a video-based system designed to enhance the efficiency of emergency preparedness and recovery. Our system includes two tools, one or emergency preparedness, and the other for emergency recovery.

In our emergency preparedness tool, we 1) capture videos from the physical environment (e.g., University Campus, Knowles Engineering Building, North Station Subway Station), 2) generate an immersive virtual environment using these videos, 3) provide exploration and navigation mode in the virtual environment, and 4) allow users to make annotations of the environment and review these created annotations. By using this virtual environment, emergency personnel can familiarize themselves with the environment before their actual training in the physical setting. This tool can enhance the training experience of emergency responders as well as improve the training outcomes.

Our emergency recovery tool includes two parts: 1) an Android application which captures the videos in the disaster site, and 2) a server that stores all these videos and provides visual analytics support. The recorded videos (both in indoor and outdoor settings), which include location and orientation information, are uploaded to the server that supports spatial queries. We developed tools for the investigators to review these videos, e.g., review videos in specific areas of interest.

To test our tools, we select both outdoor and indoor environments. The results show that our tool works well in these situations.


First Advisor

Aura Ganz