Humanitarian mapping refers to the use of geographic information systems (GIS) and other geospatial technologies to support disaster response and development efforts. The goal of humanitarian mapping is to help organizations and individuals better understand the impact of crises and disasters on communities, and to use this information to coordinate and deliver effective humanitarian aid. The practice emerged in response to the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters, armed conflicts, and other crises around the world. As these events have grown in scope and scale, so too has the need for accurate and up-to-date information about the affected areas. This is where humanitarian mapping comes in.
At its core, humanitarian mapping is about using technology to support humanitarian efforts. This can take many forms, from mapping buildings and roads in areas affected by disasters, to using remote sensing and other data sources to assess the impact of a crisis on a community. In addition, humanitarian mapping can be used to help coordinate the deployment of relief workers and supplies, to identify potential evacuation routes, and to support long-term development efforts in affected communities. By working together, humanitarian mappers can pool their resources, expertise, and data to create a more comprehensive and effective response to a crisis. For example, mapping efforts can be coordinated with other organizations that are working in the same area, such as NGOs, government agencies, and private sector companies.
Humanitarian mapping is a critical tool for supporting disaster response and development efforts around the world. By using geospatial technologies and open-source software, humanitarian mappers can provide accurate and up-to-date information in real-time, support collaboration and coordination among organizations, and help to make a difference in the lives of those affected by crises and disasters. Whether you are an experienced mapper or just starting out, there are many ways to get involved and make a difference through humanitarian mapping, regardless of your skills or background.