Humanitarian Mapping: A Grant to MapAction

Awarded on 20 Jan 2015


United Kingdom

Free flow of information, Information and Communication Technology, Relief co-ordination; protection and support services

Grant amount £8,000.00

In humanitarian crises and emergencies, ensuring access to accurate and up-to-date information is key to coordinating an often complex and confusing response. The small UK organisation, MapAction, has been deploying volunteer mappers to humanitarian emergencies and disasters for more than ten years – starting with the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. They are the only non-governmental organisation (NGO) with a capacity to deploy a fully trained and equipped humanitarian mapping and information management team anywhere in the world, often within just hours of an emergency. They work with a number of disaster response agencies, including the UN, to map disaster-affected areas worldwide. In recent years they have worked on floods in Paraguay, typhoons in the Philippines and documented refugee movements in Libya. At present, they produce static maps which are made available via their website (primarily in JPG or PDF forms). Indigo has awarded them a grant of £8,000 to pilot a new digital mapping platform, which we hope will allow them to produce dynamic maps with multiple layers that can provide a more comprehensive and comparable overview of any emergency. The platform, which has been in development over the last couple of years, has previously been tried in simulation exercises and MapAction now feel that the time has come to deploy it in real-life emergencies. Indigo’s funding will be used to allow MapAction to test the digital mapping tool in two emergencies. The funding will go towards the costs of deploying their Technical Director to trial the new technology.