I had the great pleasure to be at the “State of the Map US”-conference in Washington DC last week – a big, annual meeting of OpenStreetMappers. The conference included a complete “humanitarian” track on day two, which is also what I was mainly interested in.
I’d like to share two presentations with you that stood out for me: Dale Kunce from the American Red Cross presented how the AmCross GIS team supported the Haiyan response both in the Philippines and remotely. I benefited directly from this during my work for the Shelter Cluster, so I was very happy to see his presentation, which also helped me understand better what happened in the background when we were asking for more maps (“More! Faster! Prettier! Can you do it in 3D? …”).
The other presentation I’d like to share is by Kate Chapman, the Executive Director of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), who showed how her team is using OSM and a newly developed plugin called “In a Safe” for risk modelling and disaster preparedness in Indonesia. I think this is an incredibly important project since crisis mapping is frequently only seen as something that is used after a disaster, when mapping risks can potentially safe many more lives.
Dale Kunce: “Inside the Eye of a HOT Activation”
Kate Chapman: “Building a Community: HOT in Indonesia”
Have you used OpenStreetMap in a humanitarian context? Please let us know about it in the comments!