[talk-ph] mapping for disaster response, local community protocols

Erwin Olario govvin at gmail.com
Tue Oct 2 05:02:40 UTC 2018

Tireless volunteers from the local community, with some help from
volunteers elsewhere, are mapping and validating the areas affected by
Ompong [0] for close to three weeks now. The task for Cagayan/Batanes,
marked as urgent is now 89% complete, with Cordillera (83%) and Isabela
(66%) also progressing slowly.

I think the community has done a good job with this, despite the lack of
resources. Kudos to David Garcia, Feye Andal, Mikko Tamura and our
countless other advocates who made this possible.

Anyway, this conversation was repeated several times with various people
during  and after the mapathons for Ompong, and we have  all been wondering
how we can improve our informal protocols when calling on the altruism of
volunteers to work on mapping tasks. We don't want to risk losing the
interest of mappers from donor fatigue.

I don't believe that urgent tasks should include mapping buildings.

The essential information should be settlements (landuse=residential), and
road network, and vital POIs (for example, according to Miko Tamura of the
Red Cross, it's possible for them to map/donate data for vital POIs like
barangay halls, gyms, bridges, etc., within the affected areas.), which is
also how we mapped for Yolanda in the past. This is critical for planning
and response.

Mapping buildings are important but could be deferred until the urgent task
is complete, but should be made a separate task and focused on just  that.

We should also refine the process of identifying the areas of interest, and
priority areas, focusing on the most vulnerable and tools like the
Community Risk Assessment dashboard [1] by the Netherlands Red Cross, along
with closer coordination with local DMAs could help us do better next time.
I think, we should avoid using areas that are too large, like regions and
provinces, but instead try to define task based on vulnerable

One of the things we probably learned from this activity, is how important
it is to specific imagery a default imagery,  so everyone works on a common
offset (no matter what their quality is) so we can reduce the effort
required for correcting for offsets later.

We probably should find more ways to reach out to local DRRM teams, who can
use the data. Mapping urgently, without a definite or immediate end user ,
appears to some as a futile exercise.

 In our last meeting, Mikko is hoping to organize a meat-space meeting to
discuss this, and things like how LoCos can improve collaboration with
other stakeholders, and actors in this space.

I'm pretty sure we have other things we can flesh out. Let's start this
discussion rolling.


[0]: https://tasks.hotosm.org/contribute?campaign=PH%20disaster%20response
[1]: https://dashboard.510.global/#!/community_risk


/Erwin Olario

e: erwin at ngnuity.xyz | v/m: https://t.me/GOwin | s: https://mstdn.io/@GOwin
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