Des Plaines, Ill., Nov. 12, 2013—Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) made landfall early on November 8 in Guiuan municipality, Eastern Samar province, Eastern Visayas region in the Philippines. The storm hit with 150mph winds and gusts up to 170mph. Communications and power lines are down in many areas. Roads have been impacted, limiting access to the most affected areas. The Digital Humanitarian Network was activated by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA). URISA’s GISCorps is a member of DHNetwork and along with several other member organizations responded to this call. With assistance from Esri, members of GISCorps led by Dave Litke and Shoreh Elhami (Core Committee members), produced a series of web maps on ArcGIS Online from social media sources powered by MicroMappers and harvested and cleansed by volunteers from Stand By Task Force (SBTF) and Humanity Road. Examples of web maps are posted on the URISA GISCorps website.
Operating since 2003 as a program of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA), GISCorps coordinates short-term, volunteer-based GIS services to underprivileged communities worldwide. GISCorps supports humanitarian relief, emergency response, health and education, local capacity building, and community development. Visit www.giscorps.org for additional information.