A real-time platform for providing analytical insights for government disaster response teams in Turkey (GSMA, 2019)


MNO (Turkcell); governmental emergency response institution; GSMA.


Turkey is particularly vulnerable to natural hazards-induced disasters due to its location and geological structure. More than 95% of the country lies on one of the most active earthquake and landslide regions in the world. In the event of emergencies, information on the worst affected areas, where people are located, where they are heading to and how many people need rescuing is a crucial element of delivering time sensitive information and resources to civilians. However, due to the nature of disasters and the devastating impact that it can have on infrastructure, this crucial information is often sparse.

Turkcell partnered with GSMA to develop an application called Galata, utilizing the insights from mobile big data to deliver real-time analytics. It processes and ingests more than 100 billion events per day into a smart analytics tool that can identify how many people are affected by disasters in all areas of Turkey. It enables disaster response teams to find citizens amongst the ruins of disasters to save lives and ensure that the most vulnerable citizens receive timely and targeted support and resources.

Insights on this approach

Galata was developed with a dedicated delivery, operations and regulatory team to ensure it was up-to-date and fully compliant with relevant privacy regulations. It can produce aggregated population statistics by processing raw signal data in real-time. In the event of a disaster, authorised members of the governmental emergency response and aid institutions can request information from a security-approved operations team. The team is responsible for round-the-clock monitoring and maintenance and can provide analytical outputs in less than an hour, following a clearly defined process of internal security checks.

Key steps taken for developing the institutional framework and analytical pipeline

The application, Galata, was developed through pilot testing over a two-year period, before being implemented as a production service. To ensure functionality in the event of a real disaster and measure the accuracy and speed of the application, its algorithms were tested quarterly using simulated field exercises. Only a select group of employees as test subjects and use their head office as a proxy for a region, before monitoring Galata's response to what is a known number of test subjects.

Areas of improvement and challenges

How to locate consenting customers while they travel abroad.

Links for further information

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