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Uttarakhand Flood

On July 4th, the Digital Humanitarian Network received an activation request to support needs for the flood in Uttarakhand, India.   “Having worked with SEEDS India in the past, we contacted them at the onset of the floods to see how we could support their work” reported Helen Campbell with MapAction.   Due to the volume of need for identifying village data as well as organizations responding, we advised that it would be best if SEEDS India also requested activation of the DHN to support their work.  Their request was received, assessed and rapidly distributed to all DHN solution members.  The following DHN partners actively responded to this request:

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT): A few days after this disaster, HOT started to assess the situation and an initial team mapped in detail major highways and some areas like Badrinath and Kedarnath following reports of casualties and damages.  On July 4, HOT joined the DHN solution team for this coordinated action. HOT role is to map remotely and provide the OSM base map layer and various tools. The wiki coordination page for 2013 North-India floods presents Tools and Services to support participants (ie. Map renderings, Export tools for GIS spatial analysis, Field data collection tools including for Android smartphones, Tutorials). HOT started the mapping process by using pre-disaster Bing High-res aerial imagery to locate and map over 4,000 villages impacted by the flood in four districts of Uttarakhand state. The remote mapping action is a first step in intervention. It provides a good geometry of the various infrastructures. In parallel, the various local organizations and the field mapping teams are invited to collect geolocated data to characterize the map (ie. road and village names and other essential structures) to improve its usefulness for relief organizations.  Identification of specific priorities and  areas to map more in detail by these Teams will help HOT contributors to focus on areas the most pertinent for the humanitarian organisations. HOT is not yet tracing village details or connecting roads. It needs the field mapping teams and other organizations to assess the situation and report map areas to improve.  More remote mapping actions will be taken by HOT once specific zones and priorities are identified to support field teams contributing to humanitarian relief. It's a daunting project but one met with a lot of commitment and expertise from the HOT network.  All hands interested in learning the process are welcome to assist.  Much work is needed, and your support is welcome and appreciated.  Volunteers interested in supporting HOT can consult this HOT Wiki Coordination page. Contacting HOT at

HumanityRoad: Humanity Road responded and joined the DHN solution team with their digital 3W report.  One big challenge in disaster is determining who is responding with aid solutions.  The 3W stands for “Who, What Where” and represents who is responding, where, with what aid.  The Humanity Road team led by regional team lead, Paras Nath Sidh developed and published 3W report: .   Volunteers interested in joining the effort can sign up here. If you know of an organization not listed, please share the form link with them so they can request to be added.


MapAction There is a great need for information on the villages and locations in the affected area, as well as digital information on which organizations are working in the area. Although MapAction has extensive field experience in disaster response mapping, this is the first time that we integrated our approach through the DHN, and provided remote data management and mapping support in this way. Integrating our experience with those of other DHN teams is proving very valuable said Helen Campbell. MapAction used their field experience to advise teams in the impact area on how to create standardized lists of affected places and on the importance of identifying the main categories of needs for the affected population.  They also provided advice on the organization and management of digital spatial data and templates for a variety of maps used for informing coordination of response amongst the many agencies responding in the region.  From July 30th to August 9th, a two-person MapAction team joined Save the Children India in Uttarakhand to provide field mapping support and training.  We found a need for good reference mapping - especially transport routes and villages - for 3W mapping, programme planning, and programme implementation.  However, currently available map data was poor, which highlighted an opportunity for further DHN partner activity to be coupled with field operations.   MapAction now has  the opportunity to deploy to the Save the Children India office to provide field mapping support and training to the team.  This deployment  provides an excellent opportunity to link field presence with the DHN's support of SEEDS and their partners.  More information can be obtained by contacting


Translators without Borders: Responded to the activation request with an offer to assist with translation for monitoring and reporting. They are available for support of the projects with in-language translation and have already initially met with MapAction.  Translators interested in joining this effort can sign up here Each project in support of this deployment is being coordinated directly by the activated organizations listed above with varying project scope and timelines.  *activation completion will be set by them independently based on the local need.  Visit their websites and the links provided for additional information and thank you for supporting their important work and the Digital Humanitarian Network.

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Activation Request Date: 
Thursday, July 4, 2013
Thursday, July 4, 2013