General Information

LAWIS started as an interdisciplinary research project between the Avalanche Warning Service Tyrol and the University of Vienna, Department of Geography and Regional Research, shortly after the Galtür avalanche disaster of 1999. The main goal of this cooperation was to communicate data from alpine weather stations of the Avalanche Warning Service Tyrol efficiently to experts within the internal workflow. In the course of time, however, the emphasis of this cooperation changed and the focus shifted. The storage and management of other avalanche-relevant data such as snow profiles and avalanche events beyond the borders of Austria as well as the targeted selection of information and data acquisition were in great demand. The need to efficiently transfer, store and disseminate aggregated information to both experts and the public therefore became essential. This demand triggered a broader interest in the scene and promoted the further use of LAWIS beyond national borders. This led to the design and implementation of innovative extensions, which are now an integral part of LAWIS. Since 2015, LAWIS is available as a portal under

Basic Structure

The basic structure of LAWIS consists of a data component and a technical framework with a backend module for data storage and manipulation. The frontend module consists of a homepage portal for external communication and an internal reporting interface for administration and administration.


The system has an automated data interface that can manage and process raw data for creating diagrams and tables, as well as access pre-built diagrams. Unlike meteorological data, which are regularly uploaded to LAWIS via a time-based job scheduler, the integration of snow profiles and events follows a direct collaborative approach. The input is done via an openly accessible but semi-personalized user interface that allows the user to upload and modify snow profiles and events. This process is user-driven and is monitored by domain experts in the event of uncertainties or inconsistencies. In addition, a customized user interface based on spatiotemporal queries is available to improve geocommunication in the area of risk assessment.


The common strategy of LAWIS is therefore to provide a mutual, cross-border, harmonized and standardized service for both experts and the public. Currently, seven active LAWIS members, namely the Avalanche Warning Services Tyrol, Styria, Salzburg, Vorarlberg, Upper Austria, Lower Austria and Carinthia actively contribute to the system and thus ensure continuity and further development. It is therefore a major goal of LAWIS to further harmonize and standardize internal work processes in order to offer significant possibilities for quality assurance in avalanche warning and thus to improve risk management and risk prevention.


LAWIS consists of a worldwide nationwide collection of constantly updated data for weather stations, snow profiles and avalanche events. The cooperation between avalanche warning services and the University of Vienna has proven to be highly productive and sustainable. Both a deepening of national contacts as well as a further international expansion of LAWIS are desirable, as the standardization of work processes, visualization and up-to-date communication of avalanche relevant information must be further promoted.

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