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News — 01 May, 2015

Kathmandu Living Labs is working to respond in Nepal: help them out!

Kathmandu Living Labs is a great local non-profit working to help in the Nepal earthquake response. Learn more about what they're doing with mapping, data, training and coordination, and help them yourself!

Volunteers working on collecting crowd-sourced information for quake response

If you've been following our blog posts, you may have heard about Kathmandu Living Labs: they're a great nonprofit that works with mobile and technology and mapping in the Kathmandu region, and they've been doing a lot to respond to the earthquake and aftershocks with data, mapping, coordination and training.

They've been publishing a lot of updates on their blog, which is a fascinating view into what's happening and they are doing. And they're doing a lot!

Loading maps onto responders phones

Almost immediately after the quake, they set up a situation room to coordinate the mapping response in the country, talking to other mappers and relief organizations. They've created a lot of great downloadable maps and have been making more based on requests from responders. They created guides for how to access those maps and have been working to download them onto first responders' phones and computers so they can use them in their own response efforts.

The situation room at Kathmandu Living Labs

KLL have also set up a crowd-sourcing platform to track what is happening on the ground, using the Ushahidi platform: things like damage, help wanted, and a lot more. They've trained local volunteers to monitor the platform and check and confirm the reports -- always an important and difficult job when working with crowd-sourced disaster information.

Supporting mapping on OpenStreetMap has also been a big part of KLL's response. They set up an OpenStreetMap clinic which has had a great response, training 40 new local mappers to help fill in the map and add the all-important attribute data: names, types of facilities, and a lot more.

Young people coming to the OpenStreetMap clinic

And they've also been working to make sure people understand how and why maps are useful, with a great blog post that shows what is possible and what you can do, depending on who you are -- a local person who needs help, someone in Nepal who is directly responding to the earthquake, someone in Nepal who can volunteer, or someone abroad who wants to help.

And they are working with HOT, the US government, satellite firms and others to get post-disaster imagery as well, which will help a lot with creating maps of what has happened on the ground.

But they can't do it all alone -- they're doing tons of great work around the clock, and that takes people, time and money. If you'd like to help them out, please consider donating to KLL!

All images from the KLL blog