The Red Cross and FEMA jointly operate the National Shelter System, a comprehensive database of over 54,000 emergency shelters across the United States. When shelters are activated during an emergency, this system is used to monitor locations, capacities, and other shelter information. In addition to Red Cross and FEMA staff and volunteers, many state and local organizations use this information as well.
The Global Action Atlas, a new online portal from National Geographic, allows visitors to explore environmental, humanitarian, and cultural projects around the world with an interactive map interface. The site integrates social networking and provides a pathway for recruiting advocates, donors, and volunteers. Well beyond sticking pushpins on a map, this portal aims to "connect people and planet."
GISCorps is a volunteer team of geographic information systems professionals ready to serve as humanitarian GIS professionals, in international development and disaster response scenarios GISCorps is a part of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA).
The Ushahidi online mapping platform, first created and used in 2008 to track election-related violence in Kenya, has recently been pressed into service as a disaster response information platform for the Haiti earthquake response. The platform allows for the collection, mapping, and reporting of incidents of various types, via both SMS (text messaging) and the Web. Instead of mapping incidents of violence as in Nairobi, the platform is now being used in Haiti to track emergency reports of various types as well as the humanitarian response.
When people refer to "heat maps," they can be referring to spectrum-colored maps of values (e.g., maps that show red, yellow, green, etc., based on a range of values), or actual maps of the weather (such as on the back page of USA Today :). In this post, we'll be examining both: heat maps of heat, so to speak.