[kwlug-disc] Haiti relief and FLOSS

Richard Weait richard at weait.com
Thu Jan 21 17:05:17 EST 2010

On Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 4:45 PM, Chris Frey <cdfrey at foursquare.net> wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 04:40:06PM -0500, unsolicited wrote:
>> I mean no disrespect, I disagree this is a valid kwlug floss fund
>> candidate.
>> It's another slippery slope here, for the floss fund.
> I understand.  I was worried about that myself. :-)
> Consider it withdrawn.

But feel free to contribute to Red Cross or the aid group of your
choice now.  No need to wait until our next meeting.

Red Cross Canada

International Red Cross

Doctors Without Borders (Médecins sans Frontières)

On the other hand, if you DO want to add a Free Software spin, you can
help in Haiti from your computer.  OpenStreetMap is an Open Source,
and Open Geo Data project.  Some of you may have heard of it?  OSM has
been working with relief and rescue groups, international aid groups,
military groups and corporations to help in Haiti.  (Also for the
current flooding emergency in Skoder Albania)

Military resources and corporations have been flying missions over
Port au Prince and the region to get up to date imagery of the area.
These folks have been fantastic about publishing their images in open
formats and granting access and permission for use by OpenStreetMap.
OSM volunteers have been interpreting the images and improving /
updating the map of Haiti.  They initially added to the road network
and marked roads blocked with rubble and fallen bridges.  Other
mappers have been marking refugee camps, fallen buildings, field
hospitals, reported entrapment locations, aid depots, changes in the
coastline, damaged piers and other items as requested.

You can help too.

There is a quick video on how to help here:

You'll find tips in the email following [from Katie F. on OSM-talk]

What we've done up until now is digitize streets and features, looked
for collapsed buildings (less priority now), and for camps (high
priority now).  We used imagery from GeoEye and DigitalGlobe, but the
resolution was only so good.  We now have access to .15 m resolution
imagery from Google, with their permission, we can trace from in

What I'm doing now (and you can do) is going back through what's been
done in Port-au-Prince and other areas and identifying camps. We
missed many before, but are apparent in the new imagery.

I am using Potlatch, the web-based editor (the edit tab on the OSM site).

We have a couple video tutorials that might help you with using Potlatch:



For camps, I am simply drawing them as polygons.  Tags I use are:

* tourism = camp_site
* refugee = yes
* source = Google

(others on this list may be able to suggest better tags that these,
but these work)

We can also do cleanup of the existing data, using the new imagery
(e.g. some roads need to be fixed).

If you have questions, you can e-mail the osm-talk list.  Or feel free
to join us on live chat: http://irc.openstreetmap.org and we can
answer questions and help you out.

Thanks again for willingness to help out with mapping!

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