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Building web maps in Zanzibar

Developers and geospatial professionals from across Africa gathered in Zanzibar for a two-day workshop on using Mapbox tools with open imagery, highlighting what’s spurring geospatial innovation across the continent.

Comprendre les risques d’inondation à Niamey grâce à la cartographie open source, aux drones et à la modélisation

Pendant des millénaires, le fleuve Niger a été le poumon socioéconomique du Niger, mais aussi des pays voisins du bassin du Niger. Pourtant, même si cette imposante voie navigable permet à de nombreux Nigériens de se nourrir, s’approvisionner en eau, et gagner leur vie, elle présente également un grave risque d’inondation en Afrique de l’Ouest… Read more »

One Challenge, Many Challenges: Machine Learning for Mapping

OpenDRI is in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania this week for the annual conference of Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G 2018). With over 1000 expected attendees, this large gathering of geospatial enthusiasts is a prime opportunity to learn and share about the latest technology in mapping. Part of the pre-conference program, Tuesday morning… Read more »

Open Cities Africa Kickoff 2018

The Open Cities Africa Kickoff hosted the largest gathering of teams in Open Cities history this summer in Kampala, Uganda. For a week in June, eleven Open Cities project teams represented by 55 delegates convened as a cohort to receive training in innovative, open, and participatory data collection and mapping processes to support management of… Read more »

OpenDRI at UR2018

The OpenDRI team is headed to the 2018 Understanding Risk Forum in Mexico City!  We’re looking forward to seeing friends and colleagues in the community, and the schedule is overflowing with exciting sessions on open risk data, civic technology, citizen science, and risk communication.

A Drone’s Eye View: UAV applications for a resilient Seychelles

In the Seychelles, life straddles the coastline. The 94,000 residents depend upon the sea for sustenance. The country relies on a mere 400 hectares of agricultural land, increasingly at risk of climate-related events. Inspired by the experience of Zanzibar, a neighboring island state with similar challenges, the Seychelles is now embracing drones as a tool to collect low-cost, highly accurate aerial imagery for resilient development.

Views from the 2018 GeoNode Summit

The 2018 GeoNode Summit welcomed many new and regular contributors to Torino, Italy from March 26-28. The Summit, hosted by ITHACA, was a chance for the community to share knowledge, ideas, and use cases for GeoNode – a free and open source software for creating websites that manage and share geospatial data. Find out how you can get involved in the future of GeoNode.

How Afghanistan uses GeoNode to build resilience

Very little information on hazards and risk was available in Afghanistan a few years ago. A team set out to produce information essential to disaster risk management. They developed innovations on top of a standard GeoNode for visualization & cost-benefit analysis, enabling Afghanistan’s planning to incorporate disaster considerations.

MapMoz takes first steps community mapping Mozambique’s vulnerable urban areas

By Remígio Chilaule, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane; Abneusa Stefania, MozDevs; & Bontje Zangerling, The World Bank Like many sub-Saharan African capital cities, Mozambique’s capital Maputo has all the marks of a city whose rate of growth surpasses the ability of its urban systems to cope and respond. The tell-tale symptoms include: ever-expanding suburbs of mostly residential and micro-scale commercial… Read more »

Addressing Flood Vulnerability in Niamey, Niger, West Africa

Authors: Dr. Ousmane Seidou is an associate professor of water resources engineering at the University of Ottawa, and an adjunct professor at the United Nations University, Centre for Water, Environmental and Health (UNU-INWEH). He is involved in research, teaching and capacity development activities related to water resources management, hydrological risk and adaptation to climate variability… Read more »

InaSAFE and OpenDRI at State of the Map Africa

In July 2017, the InaSAFE team had the opportunity to present another training course to DRR practitioners. The training integrates various disciplines, such as the creation and use of open data sets (in particular OpenStreetMap), fundamental GIS skills (through the use of QGIS) and skills in using InaSAFE. The course was presented in English and French at Makerere University in Kampala and was attended by thirty DRR practitioners from government agencies and universities in Niger, Madagascar, Comoros, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi and Uganda.

OpenDRI is Hiring!

We’re looking for someone to help manage our growing portfolio of projects, engage with our partners to develop new lines of work, and help us strategize how we continue to develop the scale and impact of OpenDRI activities.

Building Mapping Expertise in Vietnam

Last month, during a day-long workshop at Can Tho University’s Dragon Institute, the OpenDRI team introduced OpenStreetMap (OSM) to students and to Can Tho city government officials. The session was kept informal, focusing on mapping familiar terrain: the university campus.

Mapping the Comoros Archipelago

The objective of the OpenDRI project in the Comoros is twofold: first, fill data gaps by building assets using OpenStreetMap (OSM) tools; and second, develop an online data-sharing platform to centralize and share risk data in the country.

What can you do with a high-resolution population map?

Population density is one of the most important statistics for development efforts across many sectors, and since early 2016 the World Bank has been collaborating with Facebook on evaluating a new source of high-resolution population data that sheds light on previously unmapped populations.

InaSAFE Training in Salima, Malawi

To meet the needs of the Government of Malawi, GFDRR asked Kartoza to conduct a three-day training on InaSAFE in Salima. With a total of 14 participants in attendance, there were staff from different government departments including the Department of Disaster Affairs, Surveys department, UNIMA-Polytechnic, Physical planning, and Department of Land Resources.

Code for Resilience Problem Statement Workshop

In June of 2016 the OpenDRI Sri Lanka team held a Code for Resilience problem statement workshop at the Disaster Management Center of Sri Lanka with more than 25 representatives from government, media and the private sector in Sri Lanka.

Surveying Sri Lanka’s Gampaha District

The Gampaha District is an urban and agricultural district located on the Western coast of Sri Lanka just north of Colombo in the Attanagalu Oya River basin. This area is very prone to flooding with important human, material, and financial damages.

Disaster Risk Management in Armenia

The Government of Armenia has recently received US$1.75 million for 2.5 years to improve disaster risk information, enhance disaster risk reduction, strengthen disaster preparedness, and improve understanding of fiscal disaster risks and risk financing options.

The Digital Divide: a challenge to overcome in tackling climate change

Try to imagine a world without the Internet.

Impossible, isn’t it?

Over the past 25 years, the Internet has become the nervous system of our society, interconnecting all the different parts of our everyday lives. Our social interactions, ways of doing business, traveling and countless other activities are supported and governed by this technology.

At this very moment, just over three billion people are connected to the Internet, 105 billion emails are being sent, two million blog posts have just been written (including this one) and YouTube has collected four billion views. These numbers give you a glimpse of the extent to which humanity is intimately and deeply dependent on this technology.

The digital revolution has changed the daily lives of billions of people. But what about the billions who have been left out of this technological revolution?

Project NOAH launches New DRRM Online Platform

Project NOAH officially launched its new disaster risk reduction and management online platform on 11 December 2015. New innovations and features were added to the platform to enhance the existing disaster information and management system. The information and improved tools included in the platform can be used in terms of planning against and preparing for disasters…

We Need Open Data to Fight Climate Change

“We’re going to need more and better data to measure and track progress against global climate change targets, including information on temperature changes, mapping deforestation and biodiversity in real time and cataloguing changes to flood plains as oceans rise. Making this data open by design could be the secret ingredient that accelerates progress.”

The economic impact of open data: what do we already know?

“Open data fuels economic growth. Many believe in the theory and ask for the proof. A new report by Nesta and the ODI adds to the evidence of the impact of open data. The report’s analysis, undertaken by PwC, examines the effects of the Open Data Challenge Series (ODCS) and predicts the programme will result in a potential 10x return (£10 for every £1 invested over three years), generating up to £10.8m for the UK economy.”

More voices mean smarter cities

Creating mechanisms for participation in urban planning can be as traditional as institutionalizing town meetings on zoning issues or as innovative as deploying digital platforms for community mapping. For instance, a number of initiatives, such as the Open Cities Project, illustrate the ways in which citizens can help contribute information to the policymaking process.

Open Cities draws on inputs from a range of groups to “create usable information through community mapping techniques, to build applications and tools that inform decision making, and to develop the networks of trust and social capital necessary for these efforts to become sustainable.” The project informs World Bank investment planning on addressing urban challenges and disaster risk in pilot cities in South Asia.

Harnessing the Power of the Crowd – Reflections Six Months after the Gorkha Earthquake in Nepal

Through the Open Data for Resilience project, The World Bank, GFDRR, and other partners are supporting efforts to map areas at risk before a disaster strikes.

•In the six months following the April 2015 earthquake, OpenStreetMap data for Nepal was accessed by more than 3,300 users using a GFDRR platform that tailored the data for response and recovery.

•Urban areas around the world, including cities in Indonesia, Philippines, Malawi and Bangladesh, are a major focus of mapping efforts.

Paying it forward in a digital age: A global community committed to a mapped world

​​When I first heard about OpenStreetMap (OSM) – the so called Wikipedia of maps, built by volunteers around the world – I was skeptical of its ability to scale, usability in decision making, and ultimate longevity among new ideas conceived in the digital age. Years later, having working on many disaster risk management initiatives across the globe, I can say that I am a passionate advocate for the power of this community. And I continue to be struck by the power of one small initiative like OSM that brings together people across cultures and countries to save lives. It is more than a technology or a dataset, it’s a global community of individuals committed to making a difference.

People may be surprised to find that the maps we take for granted in metropolitan areas of the developed world may be completely absent, vastly out of date, or pay-per-view in the developing world. Imagine an urban area without a transportation network, government agencies without access to the location of their assets (schools, health facilities, etc), or even a map without village names. This is the reality for many of the countries most vulnerable to disaster risk. Now, imagine this urban area facing an unprecedented crisis brought by flooding, an earthquake, a pandemic – think about the challenges of planning a response.

World Bank Using UAVs for Disaster Risk Reduction in Tanzania

An innovative World Bank team in Tanzania is exploring the use of UAVs for disaster risk reduction efforts. Spearheaded by colleague Edward Anderson, the team recently partnered with friends at Drone Adventures to capture very high-resolution images of flood-prone areas in the country’s capital. This imagery is now being used to generate Digital Terrain Models to develop more reliable flood-inundation models at… Read more »

Community Mapping For Flood Resilience Kick Off Workshop

The kick-off workshop was held on March 26th at the Buni Innovation Hub, at the Commission for Science and Technology. Panel: Innovating Urban Flooding Primer: Addressing the Urban Flood Challenge—Innovations and Opportunities Rekha Menon, Program Leader, World Bank Prof. Robert Kiunsi, Dean of the School of Real Estate Studies (SRES), Ardhi University Julia Letara, Town… Read more »

In Malawi, Citizens Get Involved as Innovative Technologies Help Them Better Understand and Manage Disaster Risks

Citizens recently participated in a mapping exercise to provide data for early flood preparation in Malawi’s vulnerable districts. Mapping is the next step in the launch of the open source geospatial data platform in Malawi, providing vital information on natural disasters to district departments. More community engagement results in a clearer understanding of risks and disaster preparedness.

MAPA-HANDA: Customizing InaSAFE for Philippine Context

Understanding the importance of decentralizing DRRM for a more relevant DRRM planning, Philippine’s National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), the NationaI Youth Commission (NYC), and the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) initiated MAPA-HANDA, a joint effort to develop online modules on mapping for local DRRM planning.

4 Years On, Looking Back at OpenStreetMap Response to the Haiti Earthquake

In 2014, Robert Soden reflected on the progress The World Bank and GFDRR made by becoming involved in the world of crowd sourced mapping. Now with a fully fledged program that leads dozens of projects worldwide and a host of strong partnerships, it is powerful to step back into his article and see where we’ve been and where OpenDRI has the potential to go.

IT community competes in Disaster Management software development

Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, is prone to natural disasters such as floods and fires. The World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction & Recovery and the Jakarta Disaster Management Agency held a competition to gather ideas on how information technology can be used in disaster situations.

To Save Lives and Livelihoods, Start By Understanding Disaster Risk

In 1999, the state of Odisha, India, was hit by the most powerful tropical cyclone ever recorded in the North Indian Ocean, causing nearly 10,000 fatalities and US$5 billion in damages. For the next decade, the government of Odisha and partners worked to identify and mitigate cyclone risk. When the similarly intense Cyclone Phailin struck Odisha in October 2013, the region counted 99.6% fewer deaths.

We cannot prevent a monsoon or cyclone from striking ­­– and as population growth, urbanization, and climate change are on the rise, the frequency and impact of natural disasters will increase. But with innovation, collaboration and a better understanding of risk, we can build communities that are more resilient to natural hazards.

Open Cities in Kathmandu: Health Centers Critical Health Sector Infrastructure

As detailed in the context of Kathmandu, one aspect of the the Open Cities Project engagement is the collection of asset and exposure data in urban areas in order to create a robust asset inventory. The Open Cities Project collects data through open and participatory methods in partnership with local government agencies, universities, technical communities, and the private sector. Open Cities Kathmandu has to date mapped over 100,000 buildings and collected exposure data for 2256 educational and 350 health facilities within Kathmandu Valley.

Open Cities in Kathmandu: Educational Facilities Critical Educational Sector Infrastructure

As detailed in the context of Kathmandu, one aspect of the the Open Cities Project engagement is the collection of asset and exposure data in urban areas in order to create a robust asset inventory. The Open Cities Project collects data through open and participatory methods in partnership with local government agencies, universities, technical communities, and the private sector. Open Cities Kathmandu has to date mapped over 100,000 buildings and collected exposure data for 2256 educational and 350 health facilities within Kathmandu Valley.

Helping Build Resilient Communities

Following the Indian Ocean Tsunami of December 2004, the Government of Indonesia began compiling a comprehensive approach to disaster risk management (DRM). The World Bank has helped through several small interventions, such as preparing the software program InaSafe and supporting the building of ‘safe’ schools, which have had wide-ranging impact and incorporate disaster risk management in overall development planning.

TechRepublic highlights OpenDRI’s “excellent new field guide”

In a TechRepublic article, Alex Howard gives the Open Data for Resilience Initiative Field Guide a shout out while discussing how releasing open data supports the United States federal government’s goal of improving community resilience against climate change and primes the pump for meaningful reuse by tech giants.

Webinar: Data for Post-Disaster Decision-Making in Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines

We are kicking off our Caribbean Open Data for Resilience (OpenDRI) Webinar Series on Wednesday, March 26 at 2:30 pm ET! This webinar, Data for Post-Disaster Decision-Making in Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, will focus on the Rapid Damage and Loss Assessment (DaLA) conducted in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the rapid disaster impact needs assessment conducted in Saint Lucia following the heavy rains that occurred on December 25, 2013.

New World Bank Tool Enhances Access and Communication of Climate and Disaster Risk Data

With an increasingly unpredictable climate and rising numbers of natural disasters, the need for accurate and actionable data for the project of building resilience is growing. In response, the World Bank has launched the Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI) Field Guide, a practical manual for governments and other organizations aimed at setting foundational standards for the open source creation and communication of disaster and climate change information.

Building climate and disaster resilience through open data and innovation

Type: Meeting or Conference Organizer: Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, the (GFDRR); World Bank, the (WB) Date: 20-21 Mar 2014 Location: United States of America (Washington D.C.) Venue: World Bank This two-day workshop will bring together key leaders from business, government, international development, academia and civil society to explore how we can work… Read more »

Insights in DRM – A Case for Open Data

Here is the debut publication of “Insights in DRM – A Practitioner’s Perspective on Disaster Risk Management in Latin America and the Caribbean”. The first issue, Open Data for Resilience (OpenDRI) in the Caribbean, focuses on the use of spatial data in decision making to reduce disaster risk.

Building Urban Resilience in East Asia: Principles, Tools, and Practice

This handbook is a resource for enhancing disaster resilience in urban areas. It summarizes the guiding principles, tools, and practices in key economic sectors that can facilitate incorporation of resilience concepts into the decisions about infrastructure investments and general urban management that are integral to reducing disaster and climate risks.

The Little Data Book on Climate Change

When President Robert Zoellick launched the World Bank’s Open Data Initiative in April 2010, he said its purpose was to “open the treasure chest of the World Bank’s data and knowledge to every village, to everyone everywhere.” This small book and the much bigger open database behind it are part of this same goal.