A Partnership to Share Open Geospatial Data to Support the Ebola Emergency Response
The Ebola GeoNode (ebolageonode.org) enables a full range of partners to compile and exchange the baseline geospatial data necessary for building maps and undertaking analysis of the ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, LIberia, and Guinea. Previously geospatial data was fragmented across many organizations, meaning that field staff had to devote scarce time to finding and reassembling the datasets. In many cases, this task was far more difficult than it needed to be.
The partners around the Ebola GeoNode, including UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), American Red Cross, the Humanitarian Information Unit at the U.S. State Department, the World Bank and GFDRR and in collaboration with UN OCHA’s Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX), are working with staff in the field to identify and source useful datasets which can be shared on the GeoNode.
The Ebola GeoNode is now the official geospatial data sharing platform for UNMEER. One week after a soft launch the GeoNode is in wide use by partners in the field and at headquarters. The GeoNode already hosts more than 50 geospatial layers including administrative boundaries for Guinea, Liberia, Mali, and Sierra Leone, as well the transportation/logistics layers and health crisis data. In addition, it is now possible for a person in the field to pull data published in the GeoNode into OCHA’s Humanitarian Data Exchange.
This effort has already reduced duplication, and national mapping agencies of the affected countries are being trained in its use. Because the platform is open source and free, the GeoNode, and its datasets, can be transferred to each country to manage the ongoing crisis as well as the eventual recovery phase. Moreover, the datasets hosted are extremely relevant and useful for any future DRM projects.
GeoNode is an open source geospatial platform that has been under development by a wide range of partners, including GFDRR. GFDRR supports governments in more than 24 countries to collect and manage disaster risk management data under open licenses on GeoNode platforms. As a versatile and easily accessible tool for governments, insitutions and civil society, GeoNode can provide vital information for conflict zones, natural disasters (e.g. Typhoon Yolanda), health crises, and other emergencies.