There is an ongoing crisis in Myanmar (Burma) in the aftermath of cyclone Nargis. The ruling military junta is finally allowing humanitarian organizations into the region after denying access for almost a week. The situation is grim, and you can help by donating to organizations like: Doctors without Borders, Direct Relief, and UNICEF.
There has been some incredible discussion on the humanitarian tech and Geo lists in the past 24 hours around adapting/improving existing collaboration services to work with the tools in the field. Mikel Maron and I will be speaking about this at Where2.0 next week, and it looks like some exciting work will be happening there and at WhereCamp.
- A Sahana instance is being set up for the use of anybody who needs it, with the support of INSTEDD and possible uptake by NetHope members.
- Direct Relief International have done up a KMZ file of health facilities in-country, based on the WHO 2002 Global Health Atlas.
- OCHA are prepping a HIC to support the existing Myanmar Information Management Unit, who have already put out some W3 maps.
- UNOSAT have also got their sat on with a KMZ file of the cyclone path and the usual satellite mapping.
- Ditto ITHACA, who have released a series of satellite maps showing the impact of Nargis.
- ReliefWeb’s info stream on Cyclone Nargis is of course like drinking water from a hose, with their map filter probably most useful.
- The WorldWideHelp blog roars into action with all the news that’s fit to blog.
- A couple of the mailing list discussions that I’m on are talking about ways in which we might leverage cellphone and/or satellite phone communications if they become available, particularly for tracking relief and relief personnel.
- Digital Globe and Geo-Eye have hopped the NASA satellite for an updating KML layer on the cyclone.
- Microsoft apparently have a team on standby to deploy the refugee tracking software that was developed for Kosovo (no reference yet).
- Telecoms sans Frontieres are also on standby out of Bangkok, waiting for access to free up.
- Also Infoworld points out that – with regards to early warning – IT didn’t fail Myanmar, people did.