3. Support: Crisis Mapping
When a natural disaster occurs anywhere in the world, it is important that international relief organizations have a quick overview of the affected area. One example is only a few days old: This year’s Indian monsoon rains are particularly heavy - the government of the southern Indian state of Kerala speaks of the worst flood in 100 years. Hundreds of people are dead. Many persevere in emergency shelters.
In order to be able to help quickly where help is needed, one must know where and how many people are affected and how to get there as quickly and safely as possible. Besides satellite pictures, maps with marked places, paths and hospitals are indispensable. Unfortunately OpenStreetMap or Google Maps have big gaps especially in developing and emerging countries. Even local administrations often have only outdated or inaccurate maps. Therefore there is now the Humanitarian Open StreetMap Team (HOT OSM).
On the HOT website, anyone can start drawing houses, streets, streams or even helicopter tandem possibilities on the satellite images from their home couch. On site in the respective crisis areas, these maps are then printed out and filled with the missing place names or other information by local teams - after all, it may not be possible to see on a satellite image which hut is the infirmary and which the school is. The finished maps are then available to the relief organizations - in some cases within a few days.
In crisis situations, international relief organizations contact the Humanitarian OSM team and request detailed maps of the areas concerned.
More information about the Humanitarian Open StreetMap Team and how you can participate can be found on their website: https://www.hotosm.org/