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News — 08 October, 2016

Hurricane Matthew Update

Hurricane Matthew as predicted caused catastrophic damage to Haiti that is still recovering from the 2010 earthquake. The main damage is located in western Haiti in Grand Anse, Sud, and Nippes Departments. Current estimates are that over 800 people have died, thousands are in shelters, and 80% of all structures are damaged.

The HOT community rallied to meet the challenges of mapping this large area. Just a few months ago and prior to the storm as part of a malaria campaign Missing Maps lead by Clinton Health Access Initiative and HOT remotely mapped all structures in the heavily damaged Grand Anse department. As the storm predictions became dire and in the last few days over 1,000 mappers contributed over 1.2 million edits, adding 180,000 buildings to the map concentrated in the most affected areas. Together you have mapped entire cities such as Jereme, Les Cayes, and Petit-Goave. The mapping is not done however. As humanitarian groups are able to conduct assessments and plan relief efforts our mapping must continue.Digital Globe generously donated recent pre-event imageryand is actively tasking new areas for post-event imagery. New tasks are created almost every day as new information comes in from the field and new imagery comes online. I’ve seen the difference that these maps can make to humanitarian work in the field first hand. I strongly encourage everyone to map a little bit this weekend. I also encourage you to find a few friends and teach them how to map as well. If you are a humanitarian organization and need HOT to direct its amazing volunteers to map an area of interest not yet covered, please send a note to If you would like to help manage the activation please feel free to join us on Slack. Shapefile extracts of Haiti are now available on HDX for roads, buildings, and POIs.