In today’s situation report, we wanted to explain how QuakeMap.org is used for connecting needs that are reported into the site to actual relief. This was partially inspired by some incredibly motivating words from Humanity Road, which we have also echoed towards the end of this post.
How QuakeMap Reports get to Relief Organizations
On QuakeMap.org, we have a google form that organizations that are doing relief operations can fill out. We ask the organizations about contact information, but also what kind of relief they are providing, and where (which district, which VDCs inside those district). These are mostly small organizations, individuals, and community groups that are providing relief, where the important information we have is where they are working, like this organization who is working on:
Dhading district; we are region the 3 villages on top of the ridge- the entire village area is called Dandagaun
Our group has this area covered.
We currently have a database of about 120 of these organizations. At many points in the day, we prepare a datasheet of all of the reports concentrated in that area, and send it to organizations working in that area. In future days, we will also incorporate UN OCHA’s 3W (Who What Where) list of organizations into this process.
We also have 350 organizations / individuals that receive report-by-report alerts in a similar fashion. Finally, we are also feeding our data to the Nepal Army who has their own process for responding to needs report. We are also happy to note that UN OCHA and other organizations have been using the data on QuakeMap.org to get a sense of which areas are affected more or less, as well as identify areas where reports have not come in at all, to prioritize information finding in those areas.
New Maps Added to QuakeRelief.Info
Our http://QuakeRelief.info website was updated to include a map showing the Intensity of the Earthquake on the Mercalli Intensity Scale, as well as population and household density. According to Wikipedia, the Mercalli scale quantifies the effects of an earthquake on the Earth’s surface, humans, objects of nature, and man-made structures on a scale from I (not felt) to XII (total destruction). Since we have very little impact-level data at the VDC-level at the moment, we decided to add this map so that it may help others contextualize the scale of impact from this Earthquake. Note that this data is just for the first earthquake that struck Nepal, not the many aftershocks. Data available via NSET (National Society of Earthquake Technology).
Demand for OSM Print Maps!
We were happy to note yesterday that the Canadian Forces DART team were using OpenStreetMap data to aid planning and navigation in the field. Today, we are also excited to have received requests for print maps for specific VDCs (three in Gorkha, one in Lalitpur, two in Dolakha, and one in Dhading) by organizations who are going to those places for relief work. We are extremely excited to be getting the OSM data that volunteers all around the world have been working on to the hands of people who are actually getting relief to the ground. All of these maps have been put up on http://quakerelief.info
We have also heard requests from the HOT community for images and documentation about how the maps are actually making an impact on the ground; we have been relaying those requests to the organizations in the field. If you are someone that is using maps in the field, send us pictures or a few sentences about what you are doing so more volunteers are inspired to map Nepal even better!
Many Many Thanks
Thanks to Humanity Road (HR) and Pierre Beland, who have not only contributed countless efforts to help Nepal cope with this disaster, but who also leave us extremely motivational comments when we wake up in the morning. Today, they had this to say:
We showed this to our volunteers who have been running QuakeMap for the past few days, and many of them came up to us telling us how motivating it was to know that their work was not only helping Nepal, but also being seen as an example worldwide.
And last, but the most, we are happy to note that there was no major downtime on QuakeMap.org today. CloudFactory generously donated a large server for the site to run on, as well as time from their Senior DevOps Manager Kaji. Likewise, the developers from Himalayan Techies: Vaibhaw (Bob) Poddar and Laxman spent time way into the night migrating our old Ushahidi instance to the new server, and optimizing it. Thanks for your support, techies! It is inspiring how much the community has kicked in to make QuakeMap what it is.