After yesterday’s devastating 7.0 earthquake in Haiti, aid groups and governments from around the world are mobilizing to help out with relief efforts. As Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters have shown, mapping and geospatial technologies can be crucial tools in helping aid workers assess the situation and navigate an unfamiliar and changed landscape, identify and map damage and areas where people are in most need, and many other uses. One of the first geospatial organizations to send a team to Haiti is MapAction, a volunteer group out of the UK with extensive experience in mapping efforts for natural disasters from flooding in Albania and El Salvador to the Sumatra earthquakes back in September. As aid efforts gear up, I’m sure other groups and experts will be called on as well.
Every little bit helps in a disaster like this, so if you can spare anything, many organizations, including MapAction, accept donations to help fund their efforts, and could use every penny right now.