[HOT] Details for a article

sergio sevillano sergiosevillano.mail at gmail.com
Thu Dec 23 11:23:39 GMT 2010

El 22/12/2010, a las 21:15, Matthias Meißer escribió:

> Hi there,
> weeks ago I already requested a co-author for a german article of the german bureau of protection and disaster-management. unfortunatly nobody was able to join :(
> So I will proceed to do the work alone, but therefore I would be glad if you can give me a few more informations (or write text blocks that I will translate to german). So here a few question that show you the focus of the text:
> - History of HOT, was there any coordinated action before Haiti2010?

The first humanitarian serious action was
as far as i know the 2009 Gaza Project. [0]

The project worked pretty well
and very soon the gaza strip was fully mapped.

The previous state of gaza map was inexistent,
there was not satellite images available
and map sources where very old and undetailed
just two main roads and a couple of names.

The first difficulty was to get source data
there was very little UN info, some very old undetailed CIA, 
no google, no yahoo, not an image...
so it was decided to buy the images [1] , 1st concerns raised.

Second was names. there was need for local knowledge (quantity)
and arab names (quality) could only be solved by blind copy-paste 
for non arab speakers. clearly local involvement was needed
which for a war zone is quite difficult.

Third and most interesting concern was that
OSM could be taking part on sides of the conflict.
Surprisingly this raised as concerns from the local NGOs
as to what level of detail was desired,
thinking that high level of map detail could help Israeli part. [2]

At the end it was decided to map it as 
OSM would map any other part of the world, that is, highest possible.
This blog article "Misconceptions and Objections to Gaza Mapping: My Response" [3]
by Mikel Maron helped OSM to decide.

In my opinion HOT should follow
guidelines of NGOs that have huge experience 
in war conflicts such as International Red Cross 
(Impartiality - Neutrality) [4] 

We can not be seen as a part in any conflict, never.
I personally share the view that geo data is neutral by itself.

OSM image can be endangered and voluntary response will be small 
as people won´t be fond of getting tagged as helper of such party.
So i think we should take note for future humanitarian projects that have parties involved.
All resulting from a military action will have this issues.

One more thing is that at Gaza Project afaik was first attempt to have specific crisis tags [5] 
(crisis tags is something that should be profoundly discussed...)

As things settled down locals took over the project
resulting on a great detailed map with arab/latin names
and many things "telemapping" could not provide.

My opinion on why Haiti was such a blast 
is that pure natural disaster is much easier in this aspect,
maybe some "guiltiness" a is the poorest American country,
and also UN already knew about OSM so i bet that helped their involvement.

But most of all, huge media coverage 
made a lot of people aware of the problem
and willing to help.

sergio sevillano
= sergionaranja

[0] http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/WikiProject_Gaza
[1] http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:WikiProject_Gaza#Satellite_Imagery
[2] http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:WikiProject_Gaza#Level_of_Detail
[3] http://brainoff.com/weblog/2009/01/12/1389
[4] http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/misc/fundamental-principles-commentary-010179.htm
[5] http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:WikiProject_Gaza#Destruction_tags

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