On May 9, 2008, URISA’s GISCorps began the process of recruiting and identifying volunteers to assist with the compilation of infrastructure damage data in the Cyclone Nargis affected areas in Myanmar (Burma).
By May 12, 20 volunteers were recruited and began working remotely, under the direction of Tom Ponte, a GISCorps volunteer. They are tasked with performing change detection analysis for various features such as roads, buildings, bridges, monasteries, etc. from the Google Earth environment.
The supporting agency that contacted GISCorps for volunteer GIS expertise was UNOSAT, which is the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Operational Satellite Applications Program.
GISCorps continues to accept volunteer applications in preparation for any additional requests for assistance from the affected region. Frequent volunteer updates will be sent in the coming weeks. Visit URISA or the GISCorps Web sites for more information.
Operating since 2003 as a program of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA), GISCorps coordinates short-term, volunteer-based GIS services to underprivileged communities worldwide. GISCorps supports humanitarian relief, emergency response, health and education, local capacity building, and community development.