Humanitarian aid and International development


(Johan) #1

To continue the discussion started here, I want to ask a basic question, as a way for me to get a concrete understanding of TransforMap from the ground up.

How would you feel about including the fields of Humanitarian aid and International development in the TransforMap taxonomy?

What about the refugee crisis in Europe, efforts like these:


Devin Balkind @devinbalkind
Linkdrop: Maps not yet in transformaps.net map collection
(Jon Richter) #2

I have also been asked by a friend if one could not cooperate with Athens-based initiatives. There are friends from unMonastery on the ground and onewrote to me on 4th of November last year:

I’m working for a few projects in the area of refugee support, and just had a small seed of an idea that popped up at the intersection between several things:

  • transformap’s recent troubles
  • a larger umbrella company forming, run by some well connected people and containing various projects
  • the need for data standardisation, sharing and re-use of data across the refugee crisis
  • the need for mapping in the refugee crisis
  • me!

My suggestion is a rough one: I am wondering if giving transformap a specific, reasonably well defined and SINGULAR problem domain would enable it to test its entire model and community. Aligned around a singular common purpose, each tool or piece of tech would be:

  1. easily definable
  1. actionable
  2. have a well defined, somewhat available data set
  3. be immediately useful (at least if situation remains as it is currently)
  4. be providing a critically valuable service of become a ‘data coordinator’ on a very specific domain.

I’ll leave it there, if it makes any sense (sorry I still haven’t read the backlog of transformap issues), let’s talk - and then I can have a light exploration discussion here about the idea of transformap partnering with this umbrella group to become it’s data-coordination and mapping partner.

which received an update on February 16 as of

i was working on first-contact.org which was beginning to have mapping requirements (but none yet)

Leaving this as is, I suppose developing a vocabulary (schema) for data should always succeed a concrete use case only, and not the other way around. What could you imagine? I for myself can foresee technical and social directions.

Additionally, please let’s keep any development or humaniatrian advances close to post-development critiques.

cc @kei


Addendum: My flatmate just told me there will be a launch of “a map thing” at syriaonthemove.com today.


(Jon Richter) #3

@devin just mentioned humanitarian work in

Does this qualify for continuing this conversation already @johan?


(Johan) #4

Very interesting conversation in that thread, thank you for pointing it to me!
What would be needed for Sahana to be able to interact with Transformap, in terms of taxonomies and databases?


(Jon Richter) #5

Since we work on a changeing surface with moving parts, there is quite some consensus to start with

From a political perspective we would support any form of structured or unstructured data.
Following the examples of our very own OSM Taxonomy, suggested vocabularies as ESSGLobal or Value Flows plus any folksonomic derivative, we could start sharing raw (CSV) dumps of our datasets.

Anything else appears to me mere finishing. I don’t know if @devin and others are thinking in similar terms.


(Devin) #6

Sahana EDEN is a very flexible and functional tool widely used in the humanitarian sector because it can be configured to process and manage data from a wide range of data models - so making it work with whatever schema TransforMap decides on is relatively easy, but of course requires someone to do the work.

More info about features here: http://sahanafoundation.org/software/features/
Demo here: http://demo.sahanafoundation.org

If the software looks interesting to you, I encourage you to deploy one, start playing with it and figure out how it could be useful to you and your community. Our core devs will answer most any questions related to the system here: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/sahana-eden


(Jon Richter) #7

I am certain @gandhiano will want to investigate this, as it also seems to incorporate CRM and ERP functionalities, next to inventarisation, fleet management and few more configurable lists. Are there more examples than the map to show how to render the wealth of data inside into interactive data visualisation, like linking up to IPython or something … experimental or integrated?
For myself I could imagine to prepare a deployment on Dokku, following and adapting the Heroku instructions.


(Jon Richter) #8

@johan @devin FYI


(Devin) #9

@almereyda there are a number of data visualizations. First, there is classic layered polygon support used to show boundaries, earthquake magnitudes, etc. We did a project with LA using that functionality. A bit more about that here.

All data in the system can be visualized through our “report” tool (example) which generates pie and bar charts for all the facets. It’s pretty rudimentary but sufficient. I certainly look forward to adding more visualization functionality such as timelines and network maps but doing so would require either (a) funding specifically for that, (b) a funded project needing that type of functionality or © a motivated volunteer to build it.


(Jon Richter) #10

From an email from @devin:

The best in humanitarian common publication protocols IMHO:


(Jon Richter) #11

We can also be aware of https://www.cip-project.org/. From its FAQ:

Who is expected to be an end-user of the CIP code?
Any technical systems responsible for supervision, control, and management of infrastructure supporting human activities, including, for example, electric power generation and energy distribution, oil and gas, water and wastewater, healthcare, communications, transportation, and community management. These systems deliver essential services, provide shelter, and support social interactions and economic development. They are society’s lifelines.


(Jon Richter) #12

@johan, @devin, I wanted you to see

http://www.opengeospatial.org/projects/initiatives/disasterscds

How could we frame a critical web mapping perspective towards this; in other words: which would be our requirements to them, if we ever considered participating?


(Johan) #13

Thanks for the heads-up @almereyda. I think it might be worth waiting for the actual call for participation before thinking too much about it.

As far as I’m concerned, my position has evolved a bit on the subject and it think solutions like the Frictionless Data specs or HXL tends to be more efficient than most interoperability and semantic web standards.