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News — 15 June, 2010

Third Deploy to Haiti of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team 14-29 June

Following 2 weeks of intense preparation, Kate Chapman and myself just got landed in Haiti to run the third deploy of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) these 14-29th June.

This is the second and last mission funded by the World Bank that HOT is conducting under the wings of The Open Geo Project acting as an institutional vehicle for the Team.

Todd Huffman and Trevor Ellermann will join us the 17-June with their respective experience in managing international development projects and in software development.

Todd and Trevor will come with 6 Android phones which will add to the important contribution by ESRI (5 laptops and software) and the hardware HOT has been mobilizing on its side through fundraising and network activation to increase to four the number of HOT hardware kits deployed in the island. Each of these 4 kits comprises a pelican case storing one or two laptops, one A4 all in one scanner & printer device, a set of GPS units (Garmin Etrex Legend HCx) and Data Loggers (DG100). They will empower the nascent Haitian OSM community in enhancing the Haitian OSM base map and contributing to relief and disaster preparedness activities carried out by internationals and national responders. We would like here to thank ESRI, Todd and Trevor, John Crowley and the many who supported us in getting the right pieces of hardware in the Island. See here hardware detailed specifications and how to support us in continuing this effort.

This June deploy remains within the overarching scope of this cycle of HOT Field missions to Haiti: grounding the OSM project in Haiti through the establishment of a strong Haitian OSM community carrying out both baseline and humanitarian surveying and mapping animated by international and national GIS actors as well as individuals and groups from the civil society.

The activities planned for this third mission will continue the training and surveying programs previously established consolidating the capacities grown in Port Au Prince, Jacmel and Leogane amongst the above-quoted arc of actors and reaching out to new individuals and groups. We feel encouraged seeing OSM capacities and activities integrated in the workplan and project plans of some of the Haitian GIS actors. I'd like here to highlight the exemplary role played by the International Office of Migrations (IOM) in turning our concept of operation into actions and outcomes. Drawing on the training sessions carried out by HOT to staffers from the Centre National d'Information Geomatique et Spatiale - CNIGS (Haitian National Mapping Agency) and to individuals from the Forum Communautaire of Cite Soleil and the NGO INURED during its first two missions, Frederic Moine, one of the IOM GIS coordinators, designed a survey of areas of Port Au Prince of high importance for the operations of the Office. Agile surveying groups formed by CNIGS personals and OSM mappers from Cite Soleil under contract with IOM assessed streets and other humanitarian features. They used OSM surveying techniques and made an intense use of walking papers and completed most of Cite Soleil and Tabarre. Questionnaires aligned to established or emerging data models in the UN cluster system were used in these surveys like the UNSDIT data model under which operate both the WFP and the UN Logistics Cluster to capture street names, type, surface and traffic practicability values. Projects more oriented towards development work such as DAI and WINNER using OSM in some aspects of their work whose staffs and partners got trained during the first missions are considering to take a step further engaging into more advanced training for their staffs and partners and looking at OSM as one key component of their strategy towards capacity building.

We will be working towards coordinating and facilitating with all actors the integration of all those capacities and activities within the overall Haitian contingency plan for the next cyclonic season. We hope that we will contribute in a significant manner to both current relief work and to increasing the overall readiness to respond to disaster by continuing through this missions to further articulate OSM to the existing Haitian geodata management solutions and to consolidate local Haitian OSM communities in Port Au Prince, Jacmel and Leogane active in coordinated baseline and humanitarian mapping, equipped with HOT hardware kits, hosted within partner entities set up in functional hubs.

Follow us and join us planning and working toward the implementation of this scheme on the HOT wiki section dedicated to this mission 03 or by emailing us or calling us on the Haitian mobile of the team +509 389 583 05