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Haiti Earthquake News & Aid – Updated

in aid, geology, global, mapping, science & technology


Spatial Sustain | A call for a coordinated and conflated mapping effort between OpenStreetMaps and Google MapMaker in light of the Haitian earthquake.  “Not surprisingly, the two data sets don’t match, and the question becomes what data is correct and how can the data be conflated to create a unified and accurate map.”

The Rumpus | “No one will ever know an actual death toll because no one is counting the bodies.”


* BBC’s Jonathan Amos | How Satellites Are Being Used In Haiti: How geospatial science and technology can and do help during disasters

* Slashdot | Tech NGO’s Working In Haiti: Please also give to Télécoms Sans Frontières which “brings mobile telecom rigs and satellite phones to disaster sites, making sure that responders on the ground can communicate with each other and that individuals can contact families abroad.”  Their donation site is super-slow, so please be patient.


* New York Times Interactive Map: Use the slider to compare before and after satellite imagery of key buildings in Port-Au-Prince.  Good job, NYT!

* Servir Maps: Damage assessment (before and after) maps and a good preliminary assessment of erosion/landslide potential.

* John McQuaid | Why Haiti Is Not New Orleans: “Hurricane Katrina and the Haitian earthquake are fundamentally different. That many people are lumping them together shows how superficial and ignorant we collectively remain about disasters – and also why we never do an adequate job of preparing for them.”  Wonderful essay, I encourage you to read all of it.  Haiti needs the spotlight on its disaster in itself, and not for the global media to make wrong and useless comparisons to other disasters when idiot armchair critics far away can do that all by themselves.

USGS ShakeMap, which maps the intensity and acceleration of ground shake, for Haiti


* If you want to donate money to Haiti, check first with Charity Navigator, which “works to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace by evaluating the financial health of over 5,400 of America’s largest charities.”

* Lt. Gen. Russell Honoré: “[The United States military helping repair] the seaport at Port-au-Prince and keeping the airport open are key to bringing in equipment, food, water and medicine.”


* Give the Red Cross $10, to be charged to your cell phone bill, by texting “HAITI” to “90999.”  It’s legit, but don’t know whether and how much of that money will go to Haiti.

* Ushahidi has setup an SMS shortcode to report on the ground information: +44 7624802524 or email haiti@ushahidi.com (via CrisisCommons)

* Chris Rowan explains the tectonics of the quake.  Learn all about complex Caribbean plate interaction and the Gonave microplate.  Haiti sits where the boundary between the Caribbean and North American plates turns from convergent in the east (Antigua, Dominica) to strike-slip in the  north.  This earthquake is a perfect example of plate interaction in transpression, which means that each side of the fault zone moves horizontally and in the opposite direction relative to the other, but there is also a contractional/shortening component in the vertical plane.

* LiveScience conducts a Haiti earthquake seismology Q&A.

* Create a CrisisCommons wiki account and contribute useful aid maps and links there.

* Hard to do this without a data line and a GPS unit, but here’s the OpenStreetMap earthquake response so far.

* Juan Cole @ Informed Comment suggests how Wall Street could help Haiti and partially redeem those bonuses.

JAN 13TH 2010 AM

* The Daily Mail has a good roundup of the situation on the ground.  True/Slant has more.  Words you never, ever want to read: “One of Port-au-Prince’s main hospitals was destroyed in the quake.”

* SFGate’s Updated Donation List and Information – I’ve traditionally donated to the International Committee of the Red Cross and/or Doctors Without Frontiers because a large amount of that money goes to actual health aid rather than administrative overhead.

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