To draw meaning from data is the ultimate goal of any data collection effort. Once meaning is drawn from data, it prompts action. Here’s where visualization of data becomes vital as visualisations readily convey the meaning hidden in data.
One such action-prompting visualization we’ve made for the earthquake response is this map at quakerelief.info.
This map shows the extent of damage, in terms of lives and homes lost, in the wake of the earthquake.
A quick glance at the map shows which areas were hardest hit and the need is more urgent.
Built on top of regularly updated data published by the Government, this map has served information needs be that coordinating satellites for imagery, or directing IDP mapping tasks.
This map has served millions of people looking for a quick overview on damage due to the earthquakes especially in its embedded form at eq.nitc.gov.np.
More recently, a district-level version of this map for Dolakha has been prepared for the district’s Development Committee. You can view the map at the District Development Committee website at dolakha.gov.np.
The same map is being prepared for Bhimeshwor Municipality of Dolakha, and will give a municipal-level overview and a ward-wise breakdown of the data. Stay tuned to our social media for the weblink once it gets deployed.
Featured Volunteer of the Day
Meet Sweta Khanal, who returned from the USA a few months back, and has been volunteering for Quakemap since its first week in operation.
Who are you?
Good one. I’m still trying to figure that out. I was working as a functional analyst in US before coming back to Nepal a few months back. The idea was to explore Nepal and South Asia, while I took the time to self-reflect.
Where were you during the earthquake?
I was stopped at a red light in Gaushala, on my way back home. My first thought was that something was wrong with the car. It wasn’t until a house collapsed a few feet in front of us that I realized that the anticipated big one had struck.
Why are you here?
Even as the earthquake had reduced some of the neighborhoods I loved to rubbles, swept clean the places I adored in pictures- places I planned to trek this year, even as it had instilled intangible fear in everyone around me, I was fortunate enough that the devastation had not hit close to home; everyone I knew had come out of it unscathed. With this privilege came a sense of responsibility. I wanted to contribute in any way I could. After going to a few places to volunteer in any capacity possible, I learned about QuakeMap and I’ve stuck around ever since.
What has your experience been?
It’s been an incredible experience to be part of this team of volunteers. We’ve come a long way since the first few days, when we were just a small band of people scouring social media to find posts asking for help and entering them into our system. Now we have dedicated teams working on everything from verifying reports to routing them to responding organizations on the ground. The evolution, needless to say, has not been easy or smooth, but on the whole it’s been a rewarding experience.