Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »
Eye on Somalia: crisis mapping and vector data formats available
November 6th, 2011 by Susan Smith
Patrick Meier, PhD, director of Crisis Mapping at Ushahidi and previously co-directed Harvard’s Program on Crisis Mapping and Early Warning, has a blog, where he outlines a project of the “Standby Volunteer Task Force (SBTF)” new team recently launched called the Satellite Imagery Team. This team is in Somalia due to a partnership with UNHCR, DigitalGlobe, Tomnod, SBTF and Ushahidi.
According to Meier, The purpose of this joint project is to crowdsource the geolocation of shelters in Somalia’s Afgooye corridor. They have developed formal and more specialized rule-set and feature-key in direct collaboration with colleagues at UNHCR. As noted in this document, “Because access to the ground is difficult in Somalia, it is hard to know how many people, exactly, are affected and in what areas. By using satellite imagery to identify different types of housing/shelters, etc., we can make a better and more rapid population estimate of the number of people that live in these shelters. These estimates are important for logistics and planning purposes but are also important for understanding how the displaced population is moving and changing over time.”
The team is tagging three different types of shelters in detail in the rule-set complete with real satellite imagery examples – the feature key: (1) Large permanent structures; (2) Temporary structures with a metal roof; and (3) Temporary shelters without a metal roof. Tomnod’s microtasking platform for satellite imagery analysis will be used.
On another note, LeadDog Consulting specializes in making vector data products in areas such as Mogadishu, Somalia that most companies aren’t aware of, according to James Fee, CEO of WeoGeo, creator of Planet Geospatial. Just this week Lead Dog pushed out over 350 datasets to the WeoGeo Market which are now available to customize and use on WeoGeo.com
Tags: Crisis Mapping and Early Warning, crowdsourcing, DigitalGlobe, Harvard, James Fee, LeadDog, Patrick Meier PhD, satellite imagery, Somalia, Tomnod, UNHCR, Ushahidi, vector data, WeoGeo, WeoGeo.com