We could not communicate and gather together for over 20 hours after the devastating earthquake hit Nepal on Saturday, April 25. Despite all the practical difficulties (electricity, Internet, water etc.) and powerful aftershocks, we were able to establish a situation room on Sunday morning. Soon we established contact with Nepal Redcross through its GIS officer. We also visited National Society of Earthquake Technology (NSET) and discussed how we can help the rescue work with OpenStreetMap and data.
Our situation room is located in our Baluwatar office where we are working on the followings:
- Coordinate the mapping work being carried out by both local and remote mappers. We are getting amazing response. As of this writing in the evening of April 27, nearly 1500 people have taken part in mapping the earthquake-hit areas. See this: http://osm.townsendjennings.com/nepal/. We are in constant touch with Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) and international mapping communities regarding where to target the mapping efforts and how best to utilize their help.
- We have deployed a crowd-mapping platform to enable local people to report their observation about damages and request for needed help. Our FaceBook post on this has already reached over 18,000 people and we are beginning to see the reports coming. http://www.kathmandulivinglabs.org/earthquake.
- We’re also releasing a set of printable maps based on hourly extracts from Geofabrik. This will provide most updated map data to rescue and relief workers. The maps are available at: github.io/quake-maps. Offline map for mobile phones is also available at the same site for free download.
- We are running OpenStreetMap clinic next to our situation room from tomorrow morning. The clinic will serve other map and GIS related services as well.
We are in touch with rescue and relief agencies on the ground. Our collective mapping effort will contribute better if they are coordinated. Please get in touch with us if you are already carrying (or are interested in) mapping work.
If you are rescue/relief worker and need any support on OpenStreetMap and related technologies, we will be happy to help.
These are all for now. We will update you as things evolve. Thanks for your contribution on mapping and helping Nepalese people in this difficult time!