Visual narrative of the loss of energy after natural disasters

Gerardo Castañeda-Garza, Gabriel Valerio-Ureña, Takako Izumi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Concerns exists regarding natural disasters, but what about the resulting power outages? This study investigates the characteristics of a digital visual narrative depicting the loss of electrical power after a natural disaster to identify how such situations are represented in images found on the internet. A qualitative approach with an exploratory scope was taken using digital methods. Six events in different places were selected, and 4691 images were analyzed using the Google Cloud Vision API. A constant comparison method was used to identify categories from these images. Then, a manual analysis was performed on a sample of the images of each event, and then categorized. It was found that more than half of the images refer to categories such as infrastructure, nature, and hazards, while the energy category was represented in 13.02% of the images. Most images were photographs; however, the non-photographic images found contained useful information regarding energy. Even when all events featuring power outages, few focused on the lack of energy and more on impacts to the infrastructure, despite energy being required for cities' recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1


  • Digital memory
  • Digital methods
  • Disasters
  • Energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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