Des Plaines, IL, March 25, 2015 – Twenty-two GISCorps volunteers responded to the call for Typhoon Pam, which devastated the island nation of Vanuatu on March 13, 2015. The Digital Humanitarian Network was activated by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and member organizations formed interdisciplinary teams to quickly monitor, process, and analyze incoming information from social media. GISCorps partnered with Humanity Road and PeaceGeeks to provide spatial context to social media input, resulting in data and maps to share with the humanitarian community.
Examples of these data can be seen in two maps created within Esri ArcGIS Online:
• The Social Media Early Indications Map
• The Health and Medical Updates Map
The GISCorps team was led by Heather Milton, with additional coordination and technical support from Carol Kraemer and David Litke in the five-day around-the-clock online operation. Volunteers assisted with geo-locating needed information and creating the maps. The GISCorps team utilized Skype, Google Apps and ArcGIS Online for the effort.
About URISA’s GISCorps: A program of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) since 2003, GISCorps coordinates short term, volunteer GIS services to underprivileged communities worldwide. Our services support humanitarian relief, community development, local capacity building, health and education. GISCorps is run by a Core Committee who e-meet monthly but e-communicate daily. Since its inception, GISCorps has attracted over 3,450 volunteers from 96 countries. To date, GISCorps has deployed 664 volunteers (from 47 countries) to 160 missions in 56 countries around the globe. These volunteers have contributed over 20,000 working hours towards those missions. For more information, visit www.giscorps.org
• Donate to URISA’s GISCorps to support the program’s mission. This program runs entirely on volunteer time and monetary donations. Note that donations are tax-deductible in the U.S.
• If you want to volunteer with GISCorps, fill out a Volunteer Application Form.
• If you need services from GISCorps, fill out a Project Application Form.