[HOT] [activation hotosm] Hurricane Matthew response : Imagery/UAV coordination and support to local Haitian UAV capacities
dale.kunce at gmail.com
Sat Oct 8 23:58:44 UTC 2016
First thanks to everyone that has contributed to the base mapping thus far.
Many humanitarian groups including the Red Cross, Canadian Military, and
the UN. I would much rather be mapping than responding to the copious
emails but I wanted to try and end the discussion so we can get back to
There has been a lot of chatter about UAV imagery the disaster imagery
charter on the list serve with many accusations flying back and forth. I in
my role as the activation lead for Hurricane Matthew, Vice-President of
HOT, and GIS Lead for the American Red Cross see no value in trying to
coordinate UAV use in Haiti. As has been said by Blake and Cristiano both
of whom know more about this subject than I HOT should focus on the things
we do best and leave coordination of UAV use and operation to UVAviators.
Yes HOT in 2010 was different and HOT members took extraordinary measures
to update the map for humanitarians. Due largely to those efforts and later
ones in the Philippines, West Africa, Nepal, and many others HOT has become
a trusted source of map data immediately following a disaster. Groups like
the ones mentioned above have deeply integrated into their work and trust
HOT and its amazing volunteers to provide the map data. One of the reasons
HOT is trusted is because of our consistency. We provide a very reliable
service without causing a lot of drama for the large humanitarian
organizations. Throughout my time responding to disasters over the last few
years consistency is paramount during large scale disasters.
Comparing the airspace and subsequent use of UAVs in Tanzania, during
normal "blue skies" times to the crowded chaotic airspace in Haiti shows a
lack of basic understanding of the complexity of modern humanitarian
operations. If I were empowered, which I'm not even close to being able to
do, to simply put someone in a car or on a helicopter and send them into
the affected areas I wouldn't. Given the reports from the area from UN, Red
Cross, and other NGOs I would send food, water, and shelter kits.
HOT has declined to support Fred's effort not because we don't think he has
the capability but rather because HOT should and must be consistent in our
work. In fact, Fred flies drones professionally and is currently under
contract to fly a drone mission in Canaan for American Red Cross prior to
Hurricane Matthew, hence he was in Haiti during the storm. We must
understand our place during large scale international disasters, we must
know the limits of our work, and we must not put the organization at risk
without ample time to study and think about those risks.
Lastly, as things have changed in disasters in the last few years the need
to activate the imagery disaster charter has largely gone away. HOT has
fantastic relationships with imagery providers and governments. All are
often happy to provide imagery when they are capable of doing so.
If you would like to contribute to the current mapping in Haiti please grab
a task at http://tasks.hotosm.org
On Sat, Oct 8, 2016 at 3:00 PM, Cristiano Giovando <
cristiano.giovando at hotosm.org> wrote:
> As you well know HOT's strength is in pre-event baseline mapping. We
> have done some damage assessment and post-disaster mapping in the
> past, but it's not easy and with controversial results.
> That being said, I'm sure other responding organizations who request
> HOT baseline mapping support may still find it useful to have high
> resolution imagery of post event areas, although limited to the range
> of a small UAV. I'm not in a position to speak for them.
> Again - and I'm asking you personally, please - please let's avoid
> confrontation, insinuations, and bring up past arguments. It's
> absolutely not the time. If you care about Haiti and HOT, please try
> to engage with this community with a constructive, positive and humble
> approach. Long emails take effort and thinking, which now would be
> much better spent in actually doing (mapping?).
> On Sat, Oct 8, 2016 at 11:55 AM, nicolas chavent
> <nicolas.chavent at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Hi Blake,
> > Yes Fred and the Haitian dronists on the ground have skills and extensive
> > experience but little resources to keep up their work; this did not
> > them from doing what they are good at. This can limit the span of their
> > action at a time where humanitarian actors need local capacities to
> > post disaster UAV imagery as well as satellite imagery to carry out post
> > disaster needs assessment. Support to their work can span from small
> > logistics support (rides in UNHAS, helis, plane and cars). This is quite
> > common to get such support in any sudden onset disaster responses when
> > GIS/UAV resources (leading to high impact for IM and decision making)
> > already undersized are rare, too rare.
> > When HOT started its first field missions, we were exactly in the same
> > situation as Fred. Skilled individuals (less experimented though) with
> > adequate equipment, but with little operational resources. We did good.
> > Without the above mentioned forms of support, though our impact would
> > been limited and the course of action for OMS in Haiti and in other
> > countries different.
> > With the above in mind, it's weird to read that the president of HOT US
> > stating that the only HOT US Inc support for Fred and this collective of
> > local Haitian dronists is only a well known list of UAV groups and a
> > to UN OCHA. That's of no help.
> > UAV are used in Tanzania by HOT US Inc in Development and Disaster Risk
> > Reduction (DRR) contexts . Thanks to multi years of UAV activities in
> > Haiti, this country is no longer a terra incognita when it comes to
> > and there is no such thing as "UAV missions in disaster zones with
> > notoriously complicated airspaces" but an area where it's possible to
> > operate and make the difference we ought to the Haitians and to the
> > mappers/dronists who acquired part of their skills via HOT US Inc and OSM
> > folks.
> > Do we have to understand that HOT US Inc will not help with simple
> > facilitation work with partner relief organizations working in Haiti,
> > of those orgs (ARC, MSF etc) having representatives in the membership or
> > Board ?
> > Given where HOT US Inc comes from and ironically in Haiti, this would
> mean a
> > lot in terms of the losses of our operational/organizational ethos and
> > raise questions about the reality of support/empowerment schemes to local
> > communities or possible conflict of interest between members/Board
> > of HOT US Inc and other organizations.
> > Best,
> > Nicolas
> >  : https://hotosm.org/projects/tanzania
> > On Sat, Oct 8, 2016 at 6:42 PM, Blake Girardot <bgirardot at gmail.com>
> >> Hi Nico,
> >> As you say, you and Fred have extensive experience in Hait and working
> >> with international partners in Haiti. Fred is actually on the ground
> >> in Haiti. You and he would be the best to coordinate him flying
> >> missions.
> >> This is not something HOT does, we do not coordinate or push for UAV
> >> missions in disaster zones with notoriously complicated airspaces. We
> >> rely on, and UAV missions need to be handled, by professionals, which
> >> you and Fred are, so I expect you should be able to handle making the
> >> proper arrangements and coordinations.
> >> I already suggested who to contact, UAviators, they have coordinated
> >> UAV missions in disaster zones in the past numerous times in
> >> conjunction with UN-OCHA. That is HOT's contact, I passed it on to you
> >> already.
> >> This is all HOT can do, except eagerly anticipate the imagery Fred's
> >> missions generate.
> >> Regards,
> >> Blake
> >> --
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> > --
> > Nicolas Chavent
> > Projet OpenStreetMap (OSM)
> > Projet Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT)
> > Projet Espace OSM Francophone (EOF)
> > Mobile (FRA): +33 (0)6 52 40 78 20
> > Mobile (CIV): +225 78 12 76 99
> > Email: nicolas.chavent at gmail.com
> > Skype: c_nicolas
> > Twitter: nicolas_chavent
> > --
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> Cristiano Giovando
> Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team
> cristiano.giovando at hotosm.org
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