GIS Industry responds to the Haiti Disaster

January 15, 2010 -- GIS Industry is stepping up to help the people of Haiti and the organizations involved with helping the victims of the 7.0 earthquake. Here is what some of the companies are doing to help out:

  • Microsoft
  • Microsoft joined organizations across the world in supporting relief efforts in Haiti with an initial contribution of $125 million through non-profit partner, NetHope, with a focus on establishing temporary telecommunications structure to allow communications between humanitarian organizations working to provide relief to victims.

    Additionally, the Microsoft Bing Maps team responded to the catastrophic event in Haiti by working with satellite imagery provider, DigitalGlobe, to rapidly publish current imagery of Haiti captured by the company’s Quickbird and WordView II satellite sensors.  The imagery collected by the satellites is respectively 60 and 50 cm accurate and covers much of Haiti but centers around Port-Au-Prince just 10-16 kilometers from the earthquake’s epicenter and where the damage is extensive. The Bing Imagery Technologies team in Boulder, Colorado that is responsible for acquisition, processing and publishing of the imagery found in the Bing maps site, published this data in less than 19 hours from the time of receipt with the goal to provide imagery that will help people across the world better understand the location and extent of the catastrophe and help in coordinating relief efforts.

    More information, including how you can assist can be found on the Microsoft Corporate Citizenship site and imagery can be found here on our Bing maps site.

  • GeoEYE

    As soon as news broke that there was a major earthquake in Haiti, GeoEye mission planners directed the GeoEye-1 satellite to collect color, 0.41-cm ground resolution imagery over Port-au-Prince. On Jan. 13, from 423 miles in space, GeoEye-1 collected almost 3,000 square kilometers beginning at 10:27 a.m. EST. The imagery was downlinked to our ground station in Tromso, Norway and sent to our Dulles, Virginia production facility for processing. Sample pre- and post-earthquake imagery is featured in our online gallery at: GeoEye-1 collected stereo pairs over Port-au-Prince on Jan. 16.

    The resulting imagery products are being used by the geospatial community as a basemap to produce multiple-layer relief maps to help first responders assess the damage, plan routes and relief efforts and effectively respond. These products include graphics of major infrastructure such as the locations of airports, hospitals, police and fire stations, emergency operations centers, hazardous material locations, roads and schools.

    In collaboration with Google, GeoEye is now serving-up all new GeoEye-1 satellite imagery at no charge to governments and relief agencies for relief operations. Almost 3,000 square kilometers of half-meter ground resolution imagery is accessible through the Google “geo-cloud” at This site is for professional geospatial users since specialized software is needed to utilize the 80 GB of imagery.

  • ESRI

    ESRI is offering assistance to agencies responding to Tuesday's catastrophic earthquake in Haiti. ESRI’s Web site has a link from its home page to a Disaster Response and Assistance page where any group or agency supporting or responding to this disaster can download data and maps, connect to other organizations’ Web sites, or request direct assistance from ESRI. Response or support agencies can both download from and post data or maps to ArcGIS Online and share as necessary with other authorized agencies or groups.

    ESRI has already received and responded to numerous requests for assistance from government agencies, NGOs, health agencies, and military organizations both domestic and international who are responding to or supporting response to the situation in Haiti. ESRI has historically provided support for disasters worldwide including events such as Hurricane Katrina, the Indian Ocean tsunami, last year’s Australian bushfires, and numerous other disasters. You can contact ESRI's Disaster Help Team at Email Contact.

  • DigitalGlobe

    DigitalGlobe recognizes the catastrophic event that has occurred in Haiti and has taken steps to ensure rapid delivery of critical imagery into the hands of those people who need it most. To offer the most current imagery possible, the company has committed to collecting imagery of Haiti on every pass of its three-satellite constellation. With all three satellites, including WorldView-1, WorldView-2 and QuickBird, tasked to collect relevant imagery, DigitalGlobe is able to provide daily, fresh imagery of the impacted areas. In addition, the company has made pre- and post-earthquake imagery of Haiti available on its web site as well as through its Crisis Event Service, a web service that was designed to provide fast, wide distribution of pre- and post-event satellite imagery to aid in emergency planning, response and recovery. The service, which will provide free access to imagery of Haiti until January 28, 2010, allows responders to quickly identify high-risk areas, monitor the nature and extent of damage, plan access and evacuation routes, and manage recovery efforts.

  • Internet Business Systems ( IBSystems), the parent company of GISCafe.Com

    IBSystems is donating more than two million banner ad impressions to the Red Cross to raise funds for the Haiti Disaster. The banner ads can be seen on all of the IBSystems websites including GISCafe.Com, AECCafe.Com, MCADCafe.Com, EDACafe.Com, ShareCG.Com. IBSystems is also urging visitors of its websites to donate money online, by phone at 1-800-REDCROSS, or by texting $10 to Redcross by texting "HAITI" to '90999'. 

  • BAE Systems

    “BAE Systems, Inc. launched its Haiti Relief employee fundraising on Thursday morning, January 14, in conjunction with the American Red Cross. The campaign will run for several weeks with the company matching all contributions made by U.S. employees to the American Red Cross Haiti Relief and Development Fund.” -- Scott Fazekas Director, Media Relations, BAE Systems, Inc.

  • CubeWerx and The Carbon Project

    CubeWerx and The Carbon Project Contribute Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) for Haiti. Read the full story.


    ERDAS has updated their Online Web Services to incorporate the GeoEye imagery collected January 13, 2010 (made available for free download). Users can also access the image in ECWP in ArcMap, AutoCAD, Microsoft Office, many other thick client packages and web clients by downloading the ECW Plug-in freely available for download on the ERDAS website.

  • DeLorme

    As many as 500 responders and relief workers in Haiti are now using GIS software, GPS receivers, and crucial map data provided by DeLorme, and the company stands ready to offer additional assistance. Read the full story.

If you or your company is involved with helping with the Haiti Relief Effort, and wish to be included in this report, feel free to send an email to (Sanjay Gangal)  Email Contact, V.P. Sales and Marketing at GISCafe.Com.

Review Article
  • Thanks for helping to help. January 30, 2010
    Reviewed by 'Javie García Prieto'
    Thanks for this resume of the most important and relevant resources that all can use to help now, make consciousness and to prevent future disasters like this in a future, not only in this country, I believe this can be used, once we studied this disaster as an example around the world too.
    All this information is of the most useful for all the civil protection, disaster relief and non profit org. in México who wants to help trough supporting the Mexican first responders and Civil protection agencies with analysis and decision taking support that we cant have by other means this fast. every hour counts here. in this situations time is life.
    All this info will help us to study this disaster in depth to enhance our disaster response management in the future and to help our brothers in this hard times.
    Thanks for help the helpers.

      3 of 3 found this review helpful.
      Was this review helpful to you?   (Report this review as inappropriate)

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