6 Tropical Systems, 1 Earthquake and a Global Pandemic

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6 Tropical Systems, 1 Earthquake and a Global Pandemic

Russell Deffner-3
Dear HOT Community,

In the past, during this time of the year, many people are winding down with work, traveling to see their friends and family, and enjoying the change in seasons. For me, and many others, that feels like a distant memory from a long, long time ago. However, every day it is you, our community, that gives us hope that we are not as far from that place as it may seem.

I must ask however, that you join us this holiday season in giving back to the so, so many that have been impacted by disasters. Since late October, we have responded to:
  • Typhoon Molave, after impacting the Philippines in an area where mapping had already been initiated by MapBeks it took a direct path to Vietnam, where the burgeoning community asked HOT to manage the response. One project has been completed, thank you! But at least three others need your mapping and quality control assistance!
  • At the end of October, in the Aegean Sea a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck, toppling buildings in Izmir, Turkey. The local organization, Yer Çizenler, created two projects. Both still have mapping, as well as validation needs.
  • On the first of November Typhoon Rolly (local name) took aim at the Philippines, doing significant damage and requiring additional mapping projects. The three projects have been mapped, but the OSM PH community still welcomes quality assurance assistance!
  • A few days later, Hurricane Eta on the other side of the globe took aim at Central America. Initially causing storm surge, wind and rain damage to the Nicaraguan coast. Eta then continued its path of devastation with torrential rains, causing flooding and landslides in Honduras, Guatemala and Panama. So far three projects have been launched; one is complete, the other two need mapping and validation help.
  • On the heels of Hurricane Eta, Hurricane Iota made landfall just 15 miles down the Nicaraguan coast further compounding the flooding and damage in Central America. We are treating our response to Iota as part of the Eta response - projects forthcoming will cover areas damaged by one or both of the storms. Where possible HOT is collaborating with local community and local organizations.
  • Not to be forgotten in the storms... Nearly 20,000 mappers have answered the call to help us provide data essential to combatting the COVID-19 global epidemic, read more. And although we are temporarily putting a pause on making COVID projects Urgent priority, we are still working to fulfill requests of Governments, Agencies and Aid Organizations to plan and prevent the spread as best we can. So far, HOT has generated 345 mapping projects; combined with community initiatives, a total of 432 COVID related projects have been created on the HOT instance of the OSM Tasking Manager.
  • Unfortunately, that won't be the last incident we deal with this holiday season. We have heard that Cyclone Gati has struck the Horn of Africa in the last 24 hours, so as we monitor the situation and determine if we can provide any assistance, we must ask that you continue to be stalwart champions of OpenStreetMap.
If you did not notice the pattern above - we welcome all the mapping, but we are falling behind on being able to assure quality. It's a process we call "validation" where a second pair of eyes looks over the mapping - even the best mappers sometimes miss things. It does take some expertise but if you think you know OpenStreetMap well enough, then please do fill out the short-form at https://bit.ly/HOTValidators

It has been a very busy time for the Disaster Service Team at HOT, but your support literally keeps us going, and giving responders and aid agencies essential data to save lives makes it all worth it. We are Thankful for your contributions this and every year!


Russell Deffner
Disaster Response Coordinator+
OpenStreetMap: russdeffner | +8 UTC

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team
Using OpenStreetMap for Humanitarian Response & Economic Development

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