Points of Interest: January 3, 2005

GIS in Relief Efforts. The United Nations is putting its remote sensing and GIS technology to the task of relief and recovery in Asia. ESRI is donating (registration required) software services via offices in the U.S. and is encouraging its international distributors to do what they can.

GOS Updated for Relief. ESRI, its distributors, and partners have begun posting content about the Indian Ocean Disaster to Geospatial One-Stop. A new sub-channel (which currently has six datasets) went live on New Year's Eve. More resources are expected to be added this week. All but one of the datasets are worldwide and one notes: "NEED PASSWORD" as its not public data. The LandScan worldwide population data set from Oak Ridge National Lab is perhaps the most interesting dataset.

Mapping the Disaster. I've already received one request from a reader about volunteering his GIS expertise to help in the relief efforts. I'm not yet aware of agencies looking for such offers, but will pass them on, should I receive any. In the meantime, read this account from MapAction, a non-profit that specializes in mapping during disasters. It reminds me, eerily, of the descriptions I heard of mapping at Ground Zero after 9/11. Kudos to Vodafone, which has donated �100,000 to MapAction and Telecoms Sans Frontiers via its charitable trust, the Vodafone Group Foundation, to support their efforts in Southeast Asia.

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Source: Material used herein is often supplied by external sources and used as is.