The devastating earthquakes in Nepal caused an enormous response of the disastermapping community, with over 4500 mappers showing their support from all around the world. With Kathmandu Living Labs being one of our closest cooperation partners, we wanted to make sure to support this engagement in every way. After organizing a Mapping Support Event at the Geographical Institute just two days after the first earthquake, the disastermappers heidelberg kept on being busy the last couple of weeks. On Friday, 9th there was an unscheduled event on the latest developments concerning the situation in Nepal. After a short introduction about the activities of Kathmandu Living Labs and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap team, we were happy to have an interactive live talk with Verena Flörchinger in Kathmandu. Verena, geography student at Heidelberg University, is currently doing some data collection for her Masters’ thesis in the capital of Nepal. Thereby she sadly witnessed the heavy earthquake and was herself involved in the disaster response. She provided us with very interesting and personal insights in the current works going on in Kathmandu. Verena is amongst other things supporting the work by Kathmandu Living Labs, that are coordinating the HOT activities and created a quakemap. The map provides a platform in which victims can report their needs as well as for response organization that can use the map to localize and, thus, meet these needs.
On Wednesday 13th disastermappers heidelberg were once again invited to another Mapping Event after the second disastrous earthquake in Nepal, this time in collaboration with the IMM Fachschaft of the University of Applied Sciences in Karlsruhe. This event again helped to expand the local disastermapping community and to make more people aware of ways to support disaster management remotely. For more information on current high priority tasks check the HOT Tasking Manager. We are also providing a MAPPING SUPPORT SKYPE CHAT, so do not hesitate to contact us after signing in here or contact milli1213 if you got a question regarding disastermapping or on how to contribute to the tasks. Even though we are not forgetting about Nepal and will keep you updated about latest events, this week we are also carrying on with our planned program of the disastermapping colloquium and are opening a new door with the topic of Open Data. We are looking forward to welcome Oliver Rack, founder of the OpenData Initiative Rhein-Neckar who will provide us with insights about Open Data in general, its use and application and explicitly about the Open Data movement in our own neighborhood. We hope to meet lots of you on Wednesday 20th (16.00 Hörsaal, BSt. 48).