Why We Need a Disaster 2.1 Report
By The Standby Task Force: Online Volunteer Community for Live Mapping | Published: April 6, 2011
The recent Disaster 2.0 Report published by the UN Foundation, OCHA and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) represents one of the most important policy documents to have been written in recent years. The report acknowledges in no uncertain terms that the humanitarian space is moving towards a more multi-polar system and that this represents an unprecedented opportunity for the future of disaster relief, albeit one that presents clear challenges. We applaud and thank the authors of the report for bringing this to the attention of the policy community. … That said, we have a number of concerns about the report. …
For full text of the article, visit: Why We Need a Disaster 2.1 Report.
- Disaster Relief 2.0: Between a Signac and a Picasso (irevolution.net)
- How remote teams can help the rapid response to disasters | Oliver Lacey-Hall (guardian.co.uk)
Secrecy News of the Federation of American Scientists posted a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report that provides maps of seismic hazards and population centers near nuclear power plants in the United States. “CRS determined the coordinates of plant sites using web-based applications and overlaid the sites on base maps of: 1. Quaternary faults, 2. Seismic hazards in terms of percent gravitational acceleration, 3. Levels of horizontal ground shaking (gravitational acceleration) that have a 2-in-100 (2%) probability of being exceeded in a 50-year period, and 4. Metropolitan populations.”
For PDF copy of the report, visit: “Nuclear Power Plant Sites: Maps of Seismic Hazards and Population Centers,” March 29, 2011.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is requesting public input on its six science strategies: Ecosystems; Energy and Minerals; Environmental Health; Global Change; Natural Hazards; and Water. These strategies will used in setting priorities and implementation planning for future research activities at the agency, which was reorganized in 2010.
Some of the USGS programs that support these science strategies include:
Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC)
The Federal Geographic Data Committee is an interagency committee that promotes the coordinated development, use, sharing, and dissemination of geospatial data on a national basis. This nationwide data publishing effort is known as the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). The NSDI is a physical, organizational, and virtual network designed to enable the development and sharing of this nation’s digital geographic information resources. FGDC activities are administered through the FGDC Secretariat, hosted by the U.S. Geological Survey.
Land Remote Sensing (LRS)
The Land Remote Sensing Program operates the Landsat satellites and provides the Nation’s portal to the largest archive of remotely sensed land data in the world, supplying access to current and historical images. These images serve many purposes from assessing the impact of natural disasters to monitoring global agricultural production.
National Geospatial Program
The National Geospatial Program (NGP) organizes, maintains, and publishes the geospatial baseline of the Nation’s topography, natural landscape, and built environment. The baseline is The National Map, a set of databases of map data and information from which customers can download data and derived map products and use web-based map services. Through the Geospatial Liaison Network, the NGP works with cooperators to share the costs of acquiring and maintaining these geospatial data. The National Atlas of the United States of America®, the small-scale component of The National Map, fosters an understanding of broad geographic patterns, trends, and conditions useful for national assessments. The Federal Geographic Data Committee promotes consistent data and metadata standards, system interoperability, and cross-government best business practices for geospatial resources, policies, standards, and technology as part of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure.
From Libya to Japan, a Web-reporting platform called Ushahidi has helped human rights workers and others document and make sense of fast-moving crises. The platform allows reports from cell phones and Web-connected devices to be collected and displayed on Web-based maps. Now Ushahidi is adding a concept borrowed from location-based social networking, as well as layers of private access—functionality that could make the service more efficient and useful in politically charged circumstances. …
For full text of the article, visit Crisis Mapping Meets Check-in – Technology Review.
- Crisis Mapping Meets Check-in (technologyreview.com)
- Using the New Ushahidi Platform to Crisis Map Libya (ushahidi.com)
- Internet Activists Mobilize for Japan (technologyreview.in)
- Ushahidi’s Open Source Platform Lowers Barriers & Accelerates Storytelling (downtheavenue.com)
- Crisis-Mapping Platform Ushahidi Announces Crowdmap:CI, “Check-ins With a Purpose” (readwriteweb.com)
- Wrapping up Phase 1 of the Ushahidi-Kenya Evaluation (ushahidi.com)
- Announcing the Ushahidi Manual (ushahidi.com)
By Steve Lohr, NYT, March 28, 2011
…a new report says that the potential of online mapping to transform humanitarian services will not be realized without better coordination and communication between digital volunteers and veteran agencies in the relief field, like the United Nations and the Red Cross. The report, “Disaster Relief 2.0: The Future of Information Sharing in Humanitarian Emergencies,” is a collaboration of four groups — the United Nations Foundation, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Vodafone Foundation and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. It will be presented Monday at an international aid and development meeting in Dubai.
For full text of the article, visit In Relief Work, Online Mapping Yet to Attain Full Potential – NYTimes.com.
- How Mapping, SMS Platforms Saved Lives in Haiti Earthquake (pbs.org)
- Aid Organizations Hold Back on Japan (online.wsj.com)
by Lou Friedman, The Space Review, Monday, March 21, 2011
The earthquake and tsunami in Japan are the type of events that impact every aspect of life. Catastrophic events are not new on Earth—an argument that climate change deniers like to make to support their position that we should not worry about climate change’s impact. But what is so different now from even a century ago, let alone over the millennia of recorded history, is both the size of our population and its dependence on technology. Both change what were limited local problems into global ones. …
For full text of the article, visit The Space Review: Earthquakes and climate change: get the data.
The UN-SPIDER Knowledge Portal for space-based information for the earthquake in Japan and Tsunami in the Pacific Region:
- Japan earthquake and tsunami (fieldnotes.unicefusa.org)
- NOAA’s National Weather Service – Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (stevenleesdouglas.wordpress.com)
- Spread of the Tsunami Visualized by NOAA (cehwiedel.com)