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.
An open data sharing platform is in preparation in the Comoros, data review is currently ongoing.
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to find that the maps we take for granted in metropolitan areas of the developed world may be completely absent, vastly out of date, or pay-per-view in the developing world.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.
A pristine beach and warm paradise come to mind when there is mention of tropical islands such as the Seychelles or Mauritius, located in the southwest Indian Ocean. However, trouble can occur rapidly due to the region’s extreme vulnerability to cyclones, floods, earthquakes and tsunamis. In 2013, the impact of 15 tropical disturbances caused more… Read more »