If you think that disaster relief is the exclusive job of humanitarian aid professionals, this team of Brisbane-based software developers will prove you wrong.
As Nepal pleads for more foreign aid to deal with the devastating earthquake that has killed over 7000 people (at time of writing), a team of digital humanitarians from NetEngine are providing vital assistance from their computers half a world away.
By meticulously mapping remote Nepalese communities.
Will you join the cause?
As news of the disaster made headlines, NetEngine Managing Director Bruce Stronge mobilised his team to put their skills to good use. And they are asking for you to join the cause.
“We are currently working on a crowd-sourcing project to create reliable maps for the most vulnerable areas affected by this recent earthquake. With aftershocks still rocking the region, it’s critical to get the maps up to date so the international aid organisations can get help to where it’s most needed.
According to Stronge, the team is leveraging mobile and web-based applications, participatory maps, aerial and satellite imagery, geospatial platforms and advanced visualisations to provide up to date mapping during this humanitarian crisis.
“We are calling on anyone who’d like to help to log on and start mapping,” he added.
Hacking for a good cause.
The Nepal mapping project is an extension of NetEngine’s involvement in the Random Hacks of Kindness movement, driven by a number of regional partners and sponsors in Australia. As the event’s Brisbane host, NetEngine runs hackathons twice a year that bring together talented technologists and creative thinkers to deliver real technology solutions to social problems.
“Mapping projects like these are necessary because vast areas of the planet’s land-masses aren’t mapped, mainly because the majority of mapping applications are powered by commercial sponsorships and advertising. These sponsorships don’t exist in most areas of the developing world, leaving roads connecting remote communities off the map when a crisis hits,” Stronge said.
The Nepal mapping project is definitely not its first. NetEngine, steam has previously provided crisis mapping for remote communities affected by the Ebola crisis in West Africa, and for the Philippines during Typhoon Hagupit last year.
“It’s believed the Brisbane hackers contributed to the fact that less than 50 lives were lost in the Typhoon. Without crowd-sourced crisis mapping, the death toll would have been higher. It’s an incredible opportunity to provide vital assistance to the most vulnerable places in the world, saving lives in real time,” Stronge said.
NetEngine is calling for anyone who is interested in the crisis mapping project to join their team of digital humanitarian volunteers. You don’t need to be a software developer or IT expert, all that is required is an interest in technology and a desire to assist the victims of this devastating earthquake.
Visit www.netengine.com.au and follow the links for more information.