Hurricanes Eta & Iota – how maps are helping

This StoryMap explains how some of the over 100 maps MapAction created following Hurricanes Eta and Iota in Central America in November 2020 are being used to help get aid to people that need it. Click here to view it in full screen.

What does ‘Data’ mean to MapAction?

What is MapAction’s ‘humanitarian data landscape?’ At MapAction, we’re working to put data at the centre of how we provide products and services to the humanitarian sector. MapAction’s data scientist, Monica Turner, recently posted  about the work she does in this new role. However, data is a big (and sometimes loaded) term. So what does […]

Not the normal London Marathon, but certainly not a dry run

MapAction patron Vanessa Lawrence CB and her running partner and god-daughter Jocelyn Moore (whose partner Steve is a MapAction volunteer and also a London Marathon veteran) ran the London Marathon for us together for the second year running on a very wet day in October. Here’s Vanessa’s account of the experience. The 2020 London Marathon […]

Ten tips for making simple, informative maps in a pandemic

MapAction has been collaborating for a number of years with French NGO and fellow humanitarian information management specialists CartONG. In addition to our operational activities, we thought it would be worthwhile to pool our collective knowledge to create an informative article. The ten-minute read aims to give some helpful tips for people creating maps intended […]

How data science can help release emergency funds before a crisis

Although data science is still a relatively new field, its potential for the humanitarian sector is vast and ever-changing. We caught up with one of MapAction’s Data Scientists Monica Turner to discover how data science is evolving, the impact of COVID-19 on her work and how predictive modelling could see disaster funding being released before […]

MapAction’s Moonshot – origins and ambitions

By Juan Duarte, Technical Director, and Monica Turner, Data Scientist, MapAction History will always underscore how landing on the moon represented a significant milestone in the space race, yet what is often less spoken about is the number of technologies that might not have ever made it without space travel. These include the all-important ability […]

Colour in mapping

By Jo Pratt, MapAction’s Communications Lead March 9-10 is Holi, an ancient Hindu festival celebrating the arrival of spring with a riot of colour. To mark the occasion I asked the MapAction members for their interesting tips, facts, examples and experiences – anything they felt moved to share – about the use and importance of […]

Greening MapAction

By Liz Hughes, Chief Executive, MapAction The nature of our work means that we are only too aware of the impacts of climate change on the lives and livelihoods of the world’s most vulnerable people. Although the causal chain between humanitarian need arising out of climate change and MapAction’s contribution to the problem may not […]

Diversity and MapAction

Video interview Earlier this year, MapAction’s CEO Liz Hughes blogged about diversity in the humanitarian and technology/GIS sectors and why it’s important. Since then, we’ve been working to evolve our practices in this area. MapAction volunteer Bel Hewitt has been involved in shaping our diversity and inclusion policy and helping us to work towards our […]

MapAction on the Mapscaping podcast

Podcast One of MapAction’s longest-serving volunteers, Kathrin Renner, recently spoke to Daniel O’Donohue, presenter of the Mapscaping podcast series, about how MapAction provides geospatial support for humanitarian emergencies. They chatted about how MapAction supports first responders and disaster management teams to make the best possible decisions and what it’s like to be a MapAction volunteer. […]

Reflecting on World Humanitarian Day

By Liz Hughes, MapAction CEO
Today is World Humanitarian Day and the theme this year is Women Humanitarians. I find that an interesting theme. World Humanitarian Day is often interpreted as being about the workers, not the affected communities. Yet, it seems to me that humanitarianism is in fact about people’s suffering and what helps.

Becoming a MapAction Volunteer

by Lavern Rogers-Ryan, MapAction Caribbean Section volunteer
When the call came for Caribbean volunteers to apply to MapAction, I was keen to sign up. Having followed the work of this organisation and the amazing group of people who work as volunteers, I saw this as an awesome opportunity for me to contribute to the work of saving lives.

Mapping mountains

By Jorge Andres, MapAction volunteer
A few years ago, on a MapAction team training course, participants were asked to present a map that provided particular insight, analysis, or novelty – going beyond simple descriptive mapping. I chose this map I created of the 2014-5 volcanic eruption on Fogo Island.

Using imagery to best effect in disaster relief

By Alan Mills, MapAction volunteer
Can satellite imagery and UAV data become useful data sources for humanitarian decision making in disaster relief coordination?
Satellite Imagery and data collected by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are increasingly promoted as valuable new information sources to aid humanitarian emergency decision making, but how much have things really changed? MapAction is at the forefront of information management delivery on the ground in humanitarian relief, and the choice of which data we use depends on what is best for how to get aid to affected people. Our primary aim is to inform decision making by mapping for people in a crisis, ensuring the best data is timely in delivery to help those affected. Do satellite imagery or data from unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs make a difference in the field yet? We consider the evidence from our perspective.