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News — 25 April, 2013

State Department Launches Imagery to the Crowd

The State Department Humanitarian Information Unit has launched Imagery to the Crowd![inline:Screen-Shot-2013-04-24-at-2.24.34-PM.png]This is important formal recognition of the partnership we've built over the past couple years. The premise is simple enough. HOT needs current aerial imagery to create up to date maps following a disaster event. The US government acquires that kind of imagery from commercial providers. Sharing the imagery with the OSM community means better maps for responders.

The State Department Humanitarian Information Unit has launched Imagery to the Crowd!

[inline:Screen-Shot-2013-04-24-at-2.24.34-PM.png]

This is important formal recognition of the partnership we’ve built over the past couple years. The premise is simple enough. HOT needs current aerial imagery to create up to date maps following a disaster event. The US government acquires that kind of imagery from commercial providers. Sharing the imagery with the OSM community means better maps for responders.

It started with experiments. I remember clearly John Crowley approaching me after the first CrisisCamp, saying what could OSM possibly do with sub-meter imagery right after a disaster? And Todd Huffman blowing into Camp Roberts, laying down a drive of imagery covering all of Afghanistan.

Simple to say and hack on, not as simple as it seems to make real. The legal and technical agreement and infrastructure, inside the government, took some deft handling and a driving passion. And it’s still developing, will be some cool new tools soon. Congratulations and sincere gratitude to Josh Campbell, Benson Wilder, and the rest of the HIU team, colleagues at NGA, and the satellite providers.

Get more of the story from Imagery to the Crowd website, or from Josh speaking at ICCM.