To see projects in progress, click here.
Volunteer returns from Kabul, Afghanistan
The Afghanistan Environmental Data Centre (AEDC), a co-operative venture between UNEP and the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA), funded by UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the government of Estonia, requested the assistance of a seasoned GIS volunteer to advise and support national and international team in Kabul and Bamyan to set up the AEDC and start work on the key priorities list identified in year one. Following the recruitment, Sara Hodges, a GIS professional from Brooklyn, New York was selected. Sara arrived in Kabul on September 6th and stayed there for a month. Read about the accounts of her visit in here.
Volunteers assisted in a project in Indonesia
A dataset of Indonesia’s capital cities was constructed by GISCorps volunteers in partnership with the University of Georgia, Information Technology Outreach Services (ITOS). The motivation for this project came from users of the GIST data repository at ITOS, who contacted the repository administrator and asked if they were aware of a dataset showing the capital cities of Indonesia. Volunteers were: Paula Dillon (Idaho), Daisy Harsa (Texas) and Gary Hunter (Australia). Read more here.
K-12 project in California
Javier Aguilar, a GISCorps volunteer from southern California has been teaching a group of 2nd thru 5th grade students at Hodge elementary school in the Azusa Unified School District (AUSD). The City of Azusa is located in the County of Los Angeles, approximately 27 miles northeast of the City of Los Angeles, and adjacent to the San Gabriel Mountain foothills. Read more here.
Four volunteers worked on third phase of Watch The Med mission
The Forensic Oceanography (FO) research project requested the assistance GISCorps volunteers. FO’s research contributes to the advocacy of a wide network of NGOs whose goal is to bring attention and accountability for the death of migrants at sea. This was the third GISCorps project with FO. Following the recruitment, four volunteers were put in contact with FO’s team: Donald Ferguson (WV), Jasmine Du (NY), David Metzler (CO), and Said Abou Kharroub (Lebanon). Read more here.
Volunteer from California teaching ArcGIS in Zambia
We have been assisting the South Luangwa Conservation Society (SLCS), a nonprofit organization based in Zambia, for the past few years with their GIS needs. They asked that we send one of our volunteer’s onsite to teach ArcGIS desktop and Online to their team. The recruitment resulted in selecting Michelle Kinzel, a GIS professional from California who went to Zambia for 3 weeks. Read more here.
A Remote sensing specialist deployed to an Amnesty International mission in SE Asia
Amnesty International (AI) USA’s Science for Human Rights Program requested the assistance of a remote sensing/GIS specialist. The volunteer was asked to provide guidance on selecting the most appropriate type of imagery for conducting change detection analysis and performing the analysis itself. Zack Bortolot, and Associate Professor of Remote Sensing at James Madison University in Virginia was selected and worked on the project for several month. Read more here.
Volunteer assists in building a GIS portal
This project was brought to us by the International Cancer Alternative Network (I-CAN). The objective of the project is to create a web-based portal where cancer patients can find alternative cancer treatment research, clinics, doctors, cost and persons who have successfully beaten cancer without surgery or chemo. Tarig Ahmed is a GIS professional from Texas and developed several mapping options for the project that identified a variety of features including the locations of patients, hospitals, clinics, and physicians on the ArcGIS Online platform.
GISCorps volunteer assisted a non-profit organization in Bellevue, Washington
HopeLink is a Washington based non-profit organization that offers an integrated array of programs that enable families in crisis to make progress toward and achieve self-sufficiency. They asked the assistance of a volunteer to update their current GIS datsets and related maps in King County. The search for volunteer resulted in recruiting Dan Christiansen, a GIS professional from Seattle, WA who will be able to assist HopeLink both on-site and remotely. Read more here.
Two volunteers assisting UNOSAT in a remote sensing project
UNOSAT requested the assistance of GISCorps volunteers for creating Digital Elevation Models (DEM) from stereo imagery pairs. Two remote sensing specialists were deployed to this project and performed some analysis; they were Jim Norton from Canada and Simon Jackson from Australia. The project was placed on hold by UNOSAT.
Remote sensing specialist deployed to a project with UNOSAT
The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)’s Satellite Operational Applications Program or UNOSAT requested the assistance of a remote sensing specialist for a pilot project in Somalia. The objective of this project was to implement methods for using free and low resolution imagery to identify the locations of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps. The volunteer was asked to assist in developing the most appropriate methodology for identifying the camps and then manage additional volunteers who will be responsible for reviewing tens of thousands sq km of imagery. The recruitment resulted in selection of Barry Bitters, a senior research scientist with the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), in Virginia. He provided some information to UNOSAT representatives, however, the project was eventually halted by them.
Mission with South Luangwa Conservation Society First Phase - Zambia
GISCorps volunteer, Lisa Matthies, a GIS and Geography Instructor at Erie Community College in Williamsville, NY has been supporting SLCS’ GIS needs since spring of 2009. Recently, SLCS inquired about the possibility of being trained in GIS. After contacting Lisa, she indicated that she would be willing to provide GIS training to SLCS. More detail about the training (possibly onsite) will be posted later, for more details about Lisa's support for this project, click here.
The National Map Corps Colorado Pilot Project
In November 2012, GISCorps received a request from the U.S. Geological Survey for assistance in creating and editing data for The National Map. The goals of the project were to: 1) Work towards completion of The National Structures Dataset for Colorado; and 2) Develop a framework for self-organizing of volunteers to promote efficiency and accuracy of crowd-sourced data. Seventeen volunteers were recruited for the project which started in December 2012 and was completed in February 2013. Read more here.
Satellite Radar and GIS Volunteers Detect Hurricane Sandy Damage
In response to Hurricane Sandy's devastation on the East Coast of the United States, a group of volunteers and professionals produced a damage proxy map of New York City, the place with the highest casualty, using X-band radar data from COSMO-SkyMed satellites and implemented visual inspection on each pixel of the damage proxy map for accuracy. Read more here.
GISCorps volunteers assist in Search and Rescue pilot project in California
In late 2012, GISCorps received a request for volunteers from a consortium of GIS and Search and Rescue (SAR) professionals from Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team, Esri, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, Yosemite National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, and Mountaineer Rescue Group who have developed a Search and Rescue application called MapSAR. Following a state wide recruitment, eight volunteers responded to the call and five of them headed to an onsite training shortly after. Read more here.
GSDI project in Russia
In November 2011, South Ural State University in Chelyabinsk (SUSU), Russia, applied to the GSDI, seeking the assistance of a seasoned GIS expert to lead a discussion of GIS practices in the United States. The goal was to have the volunteer participate in a two-to-three day international seminar, presenting an overview of how GIS is practiced in the U.S. in regard to major application areas, particularly in land management, cadastral data, surveying, and geodesy. William Huxhold, GISP, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Department of Urban Planning, responded affirmatively and headed to Russia in November 2012. Read more here.
GSDI project in Tanzania
This project was initiated as a small grant request from the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) by the University of Kwazulu-Natal and the Wami Ruvu Basin Water Office in Tanzania. The application requested a Remote Sensing Specialist who works for the United Nations to provide technical assistance in assessing land use change. As a partner of GSDI in its small grant program, GISCorps recruited and deployed Mr. Imroz Raihan, a Remote Sensing Specialist, to conduct image processing and analysis. Read more here.
Conducting GIS Databank Design, Needs Assessment, and Training in Mozambique
The Niassa National Reserve, a non-profit organization located in northern Mozambique requested the assistance from in two capacities: 1) conducting a GIS Needs Assessment of their existing GIS (remotely), and 2) training their local staff on the use of ArcGIS software. The recruitment resulted in selecting Marci Meixler, a visiting professor at Rutgers University and two of her students: Carly Aulicky and Mike Tanis and the second phase brought in Dave Smith, a former Rutgers graduate student who recently completed a training manual for the Reserve staff. Read more here.
Expert Crowd helped in the SuperStorm Sandy Mission
We received a request from Humanitarian OpenStreetMap (HOT) shortly after super storm Sandy hit the northeastern US in October/November 2012. They were interested in deploying the “expert” crowd (GISCorps volunteers) on a crowd sourcing project that they launched shortly after the storm. They asked that the GISCorps volunteers help evaluate the crowd's overall accuracy, by rating a sample of the site's images using the same interface. Volunteers came from seven countries: Amelia Ley (US), Naiara Fernandez (Spain), Roxroy Bollers (Guyana), Giedrius Kaveckis, (Italy), Jeffrey Pires, (US), David Anderson (US), Meliv Purzuelo (Philippines), Kevin Pomaski (US), and Eyob Teshome (Ethiopia). Read More here.
GISCorps Volunteer returns from a World Vision mission in Sierra Leone
Jim Tobias, a Senior GIS Developer with Northrop Grumman in Atlanta GA, was deployed to an onsite mission in Sierra Leone. The request for volunteer came from World Vision and was for a GIS/GPS Specialist to undertake mapping of health and education facilities in Area Development Programs (ADP)s in several districts of Sierra Leone. Jim returned from Sierra Leone after three weeks. Read more here.
Second mission with Forensic Oceanography in Central Mediterranean
GISCorps' 100th mission was with Forensic Oceanography (FO) research project and was recently concluded. They had requested the assistance of three volunteers to conduct remote sensing, data mining and data conversion/creation. These volunteers were needed for a project concerning the death of migrants at sea (related to our first project with FO). Volunteers were: Rossana Padeletti from Italy, Keith McCrary from US, and Steve Etherington from Canada. Read more here.
A remote sensing scientist recruited for a project in Sudan
We are providing volunteers to several GSDI projects this year (2012). One of those requests came from Grant Gordon, a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Political Science at Columbia University. The project that Grant wass seeking a volunteer for intended to advance a series of estimation procedures derived from satellite imagery analysis to determine the physical and human impact of atrocities committed in Sudan. Barry Bitters, a remote sensing scientist from Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), in Virginia was selected for this project and made initial contacts but the Partner agency did not follow up. The project was stopped as a result.
Recruitment Conducted, no results reported
Volunteers assisted in a disaster preparedness project in Indonesia
Earlier this year, eleven GISCorps volunteers were deployed to a project with Humanitarian OpenStreetMap (HOT). This was our second collaborative project with HOT (first one in Samoa) and this time the work was conducted in Padang, Indonesia. Padang has been identified as one of Indonesia's most vulnerable cities as a large portion of the population lives within the Tsunami Zones. Read more here.
Supporting a set of humanitarian field experiments in Camp Roberts
GISCorps volunteer, Yamini Manickam, supported a set of humanitarian field experiments in Camp Roberts, California on August 15th, 2012. Yamini is a GIS professional from California and has expertise in remote sensing. Her main tasks consisted of processing the imagery generated from several planes on the same day as those images were captured. The process included: geo rectification, edge matching and mosaicking those imagery. Read more here.
Two GISCorps volunteers assisted the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma
The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge was established in 1901 to protect wildlife species in danger of extinction and to restore native species. The goal of their Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR) Invasive program is to find high risk invasive species on the Refuge and eradicate them before they become established. In order to achieve that goal, they needed additional GIS assistance. Two volunteers were recruited for this project: Gericke Cook who works as a GIS Specialist for the USDA in Colorado and Lacey Mason also a GIS Specialist who works for the University of Michigan. Read more here.
GISCorps volunteers assisted in 3 phases of USAID's first crowd sourcing project
The USAID requested the assistance of GISCorps volunteers for a 3‐phased project in spring of 2012. The organization wanted to geo-code non-standard location information of loan records from USAID’s Development Credit Authority (DCA). Proper geo-visualization can signal new areas for potential collaboration with host countries, researchers, other development organizations, and the public. Read more here.
Conducting change detection in Chimanimani National Preserve, Mozambique
This project was commissioned by the Transfrontier Conservation Areas Unit of Ministry of Tourism in Mozambique. The Ministry asked for short term assistance of a remote sensing specialist. The specialist's task consisted of processing and analyzing Quick Bird Imagery of Chimanimani National Reserve (approximately 600 sq Km) from 2005 and 2008. Kerry Brooks, a professor at Washington State University was recruited for this project and he recently concluded the analysis. Read more here.
GISCorps volunteer taught GIS toK-12 students in Albania
The Urban and Regional Planning department at the University of Florida (UF), in partnership with the Albanian-American foundation Martin and Mirash Ivanaj (whose mission is to promote science and education amongst the Albanian youth), developed a prototype course that uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to teach middle school children about environmental and sustainability subjects. Students from the middle school “Dëshmorët e Lirisë” in Tirana were taught this course on site during the last week of June 2012. Dr. Jennifer Rechel, joined the UF team as a GISCorps volunteer in Tirana to teach the course. Read more here.
SAR analysis of vessel presence in the central Mediterranian
Forensic Oceanography (FO) is a project led by Charles Heller, Lorenzo Pezzani and Situ Studio as part of the European Research Council project “Forensic Architecture” directed by Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, University of London (www.forensic-architecture.org). Drawing upon a diverse range of geospatial and remote sensing technology, the project investigates the conditions that have led to the death of more than 1500 persons fleeing Libya across the Central Mediterranean in the Spring of 2011, while the area was populated by a high number of military vessels. While working on the report, FO reached out to GISCorps for the network’s expertise. GISCorps recruited Lawrence Fox III, Humboldt State University Emeritus Professor of Remote Sensing and consultant to provide SAR imagery analysis. Read more here.
Geo-coding locations of NGOs in Sierra Leone
GISCorps volunteers tested an application for a non profit organizationVolunteers assisted in three phases of a disaster simulation in Samoa
The Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) requested the assistance of GISCorps volunteers for testing an application. GICHD, an international expert organization legally based in Switzerland as a non-profit foundation, works for the elimination of mines, explosive remnants of war and other explosive hazards, such as unsafe munitions stockpiles. Three volunteers: Benjamin Koziol from Michigan, Curtis Day from Oregon, and Robert Cheetham from Pennsylvania were deployed to the mission and they became involved in the beta-testing of the Multicriteria Analytical Scoring Tool (MASCOT) developed by the University of Geneva on the demand of the GICHD. Read More here.
The United Nations Platform for Space-Based information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response or UN-Spider held a one day event in Geneva in mid November 2011. During the event, running a disaster simulation in Samoa was proposed and December 3rd, 2011 was selected as the simulation date. Several participants including GISCorps expressed interest in participating and making their volunteers available to the exercise. The initial involvement resulted in a three phased project. Read more here.
Volunteers assist in a pilot project in HaitiVolunteers assisted in data cleansing of health facilities in Libya
The Institute for Conscious Global Change, Inc. (ICGC) requested the assistance of two volunteers to perform several GIS related tasks for a pilot project. ICGC is a US based non- profit organization dedicated to the goal of assisting in eradicating physical, emotional, and mental poverty from the planet through educational and economic means. Two volunteers (both GIS Specialists) were recruited for this project: Dan Christiansen from Seattle, WA and Robert Page from Connecticut. They worked with ICGC representatives for several weeks and assisted them in understanding the capabilities that GIS can provide to their operation.
Mission Completed, no report prepared
At the request of the World Health Organization (WHO), GISCorps volunteers were deployed to a data cleansing project in Libya. The dataset included the locations of health facilities around the country. The information was collected from various resources and by volunteers from two other partner organizations: the Stand By Task Force (SBTF) and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap (HOT). GISCorps volunteers working on this project were: Abdel-Rahman Muhsen from Calgary and Case Robertson from Georgia. Read more by clicking here.
GISCorps watershed specialist worked on a project in Malawi
Christiana Pollack, a GIS specialist with Princeton Hydro in New Jersey was recruited for a project in Malawi. The project is commissioned by WALA, a five year livelihoods program beginning in 2009 to improve food security for chronically food insecure households in Malawi, Africa. The WALA program was looking for a volunteer to assist them in using GIS applications to map seven (7) micro-watersheds in sufficient detail to allow for creation of a GIS database. The first phase of the project, running a pilot project on one of the watersheds was completed.
GISCorps volunteers was asked to help in GIS database organization
The American Red Cross (ARC) requested the assistance of a GIS volunteer to help organize the information for their Haiti Assistance Program (HAP) into an Access database and link it with relevant administrative shape files in one or many separate Geodatabases. The recruitment resulted in selection and deployment of Saskia Cohick, a GIS professional from Pennsylvania. She started working on the project but the project was stopped without producing much results.
Recruitment Conducted, no results reported
Volunteers worked on a project with MapAction - Caribbean
Seven GISCorps volunteers were deployed to a remote mission in the Caribbean. The request for volunteers was made by MapAction, a UK based non profit volunteer organization with whom we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in January 2011. The volunteers were involved in data mining, cleansing and standardization of several GIS datasets related to Saint Lucia, Belize, and Bermuda. They worked directly with the MapAction teams in the UK and Caribbean. The GISCorps volunteers involved in this phase were: Anneka Imkamp, California, Kyung Kim, Virginia, Kevin Mayall, Bermuda, Tia Morita, California, Keith Olson, Colorado, Nathan Pugh, Utah, and Jacob Spuck, Florida.
Mission completed, no report prepared
Volunteer assisting the American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma
American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma requested the assistance of one GIS Specialist in conducting a needs assessment and deploying a solution to fulfill their short term GIS needs. Matthew Moore, a graduate student at the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Spatial Analysis was recruited for this project and recently concluded his services.
Mission completed, no report prepared
Assisting a Micro Loan organization in Haiti
Fonkoze, a US based non profit organization, requested the assistance of a GISCorps volunteer in implementing a complete GPS data collection and web mapping of all of their "credit centers"; the 2000 locations that their clients meet at to repay loans, receive health and education services. Fonkoze is the largest micro-finance institution in Haiti offering a full range of financial services to the rural-based poor in Haiti. Following a search, Joe Dickinson, a GISCorps volunteer from Seattle, WA was recruited for this project and worked on the first phase of the project with Fonkoze representatives. Read more here.
Volunteering with a non profit organization in Montgomery County, MDDigitizing detailed hydrology layer completed - Panama
GISCorps recruited Robert George, a GISCorps volunteer from Pennsylvania, for a project in Montgomery County, MD. The project was in partnership with Identity, Inc. a US based nonprofit organization. Rob assisted the Identity Inc. team with analyzing and mapping a variety of demographic and financial data of both upper and lower income school communities in Montgomery County. A report of this project is posted in here.
Azuero Earth Project, a US based non profit organization requested the assistance of two GIS Specialists in developing a comprehensive hydrology dataset. Two GIS Specialists: Josh Garver of Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District (FSWCD) in Ohio, and Emily Cheadle of the town of Babylon Department of Planning and Development in New York were selected for this mission. They recently completed their tasks and the accounts of their effort is posted in here.
Volunteers assisted in the aftermath of tornados - Alabama
A violent tornado outbreak from April 25 – 28, 2011, affected the Southern Midwestern, and Eastern United States, leaving catastrophic destruction in its wake, especially across the state of Alabama. Shortly thereafter, we received a request for volunteers from CrisisCommons. The request was on behalf of the American Red Cross and Alabama Emergency Operation Center (EOC). They were looking for volunteers to assist in several areas. A few hours after the request came in, two volunteers; Shondra Hogan, GISP from Georgia and Jason San Souci, GISP from Colorado were recruited for the mission. They looked for multiple GIS datasets including Red Cross Shelters, schools, police stations, and disaster response centers. These datasets were loaded onto Ushahidi's Crowd Map. Another GISCorps volunteer, Yoh Kawano - who lead a team of volunteers for one of our Japan missions - along with his colleagues Christina Patterson and Grant Young provided technical support and server space (from UCLA's Office of Information Technology) for this application. The application is still up and running at Recovery Alabama. Other contributing organizations include: CrisisCommons, Alabama EOC/Red Cross, Humanity Road, University of AL, UCLA, and SBTF.
Four volunteers helped in post tornado damage assessment - St Louis County, MO
Two tornadic supercells crossed the greater St. Louis Metropolitan Area during the evening hours of Good Friday, April 22, 2011. Shortly after that Brett Costillo from the Office of Emergency Management requested the assistance of 2-4 volunteers. Within a few hours, a job description was developed and two volunteers Heather Milton (also a Core Committee member), and Paul Trudt were on-site. Later on, two more volunteers, Scott Ferguson and Katie Spurr both from St Louis joined the team. They updated maps as damage reports were called in - damaged parcels layer, closed roads, areas of reported rotation from NWS, and cartography. Also, current maps were projected on EOC wall for responders' convenience; other maps made as requested (street map for animal shelter volunteers searching for pets).
Mission completed, no report prepared
Earthquake/Tsunami relief mission with Crisis Commons - Japan
Between March 12 and 15, 2011, seven GISCorps volunteers were recruited to assist in mining various datasets in earthquake stricken areas of Japan. This mission was in collaboration with CrisisCommons. Volunteers worked on a variety of tasks for over one week. Volunteers came from: Australia, Canada, Switzerland, and USA. Read more here.
Remote Sensing Specialist assisted with a project in Japan
GISCorps was contacted by the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) shortly after a massive earthquake hit the northeast region of Japan. The request was on behalf of a fellow member of the International Charter Space and Major Disasters (Charter), the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). They requested experienced remote sensing specialists who could quickly access, process, and publish high resolution imageries from various resources (all disseminated by the Charter). The goal of the project was to analyze satellite imagery to help guide the emergency response efforts for the coastal communities that were either directly impacted by the tsunami inundation or, at the time, had not reported their condition. A call for qualified volunteers was sent out and in less than 24 hours, Terry Winemiller, an associate professor from Auburn University at Montgomery, Alabama and his team of students were recruited for the project. Read more here.
GISCorps volunteer assisted in geolocating child-mother clinics in Chiapas - Mexico
In late 2010, Juan Del Toro, a GIS professional with Instituto de Información Territorial del Estado de Jalisco, was selected for a project in Chiapas, Mexico. The project was brought to us by Maternova, a US based organization who is implementing a web-based portal focused on empowering frontline health workers and saving lives around the time of childbirth. Juan assisted Maternova in geo locating hospitals and clinics in the region. Read more here.
(and vicinity) and one volunteer in the US. The volunteers were: Ori Gudes and Daniel Coogan from Australia and Scott Madry from North Carolina. The project was completed in early 2011. Read more here.
Three GISCorps volunteers finalized a pilot project for the Red Cross in Brisbane - Australia
The Australian Red Cross – Emergency Services (QLD), based in Brisbane requested the assistance of GIS volunteers with experience in disaster response. The aim of the project is to have mapping tools that would improve the ability of the Red Cross team to document resource capacity and market this capacity to partner agencies. The recruitment resulted in selection of two volunteers in Brisbane
Mission with GRDC (first phase) - Nigeria
The Geographical Resources for Development Centre (GRDC), a non profit organization in Nigeria, requested one volunteer to assist in setting up a metadata clearinghouse. The project was a result of a partnership between GISCorps and the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association (GSDI). Alison Fischer of British Columbia was recruited for this mission and the website was launched in January 2011. Read more here.
Providing ArcGIS Server support to a non profit organization - New Orleans
In October 2009, Dr. Michelle Thompson, an Assistant Professor at the University of New Orleans – Department of Planning & Urban Studies (UNO-PLUS) contacted GISCorps and sought the assistance of an ArcGIS Server Programmer to develop a community-university pilot project to develop a community data information system using internet mapping services. Following a thorough search Rafael Ferraro, a GIS Programmer with Science Application International Corporation (SAIC) in Virginia was selected for the project. The team recently reported the completion of the first phase of this mission. Read more here.
Nine of our volunteers have concluded their tasks for a project in Shkodra region of Albania. The project was commissioned by Free Libre Open Source Software Kosovo (FLOSSK), a non-profit organization in Kosovo. FLOSSK requested the assistance of GISCorps volunteers in creating an accurate base map for a region in northwest of Albania known as Shkodra. This region was struck by flood in January 2010. At completion, they helped develop several data layers including a detailed road network (on Open Street Map – OSM interface), damaged buildings, and various Points of Interests. Read more here.
Mission with FLOSSK - Albania
Assisting an NGO (ICOMOS) to preserve historic structures - Haiti
International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) is an international non-governmental organization of professionals, dedicated to the conservation of the world's historic monuments and sites. They were interested in identifying historic structures in Haiti and also assessing damages to those structures in hopes of helping the Haitians and Haitian government to preserve the important structures. They worked with Pictometry's donated imagery using their Pictometry OnLine (POL) application. The oblique data was of particular value for this particular disaster because of difficult situation on the ground, and the lack of prior inventories and identification of resources. Read more here.
GISCorps volunteer deployed to UN-SPIDER/UNOOSA project - Haiti
In January 2010, a request for ArcGIS Server specialists came to GISCorps from the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), as implementing Office for the UN Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER). The search resulted in the selection of Chris Markuson from Pueblo, Colorado. He worked with UNOOSA/UN-SPIDER representatives for several weeks.
Mission completed, no report prepared
Information Management and Mine Action Program (iMMAP ) is assisting the Chadian Independent Electoral Commission (CENA) in Chad. The goals of this project are to geo-reference +/-10,000 polling stations for the entire country and then add attribute data such as type of polling station, mobile network operator available, accessibility, and time to reach from the sub-district center to that dataset. This dataset will be used for the preparation of the upcoming legislative elections due in September 2010. They need a GISCorps volunteer with expertise in ArcGIS Desktop and Excel spreadsheets to assist them with this project. The search resulted in selection of Guy Maurice from Belgium who was put in direct contact with iMMAP representatives. So far, he has been able to identify the location of several polling places. However, in order to finalize the project more detailed information is needed. This project is currently on hold until further information from CENA becomes available.
Geo- Referencing & Cleansing Election Database - Chad
Recruitment Conducted, no results reported
Mission with CartONG - Vietnam
In December 2009, CartONG; a French based non profit organization requested the assistance of a GISCorps volunteer with expertise in remote sensing. The overall goal of the project was to support the Vietnamese government to find a mechanism to improve the livelihood of the poor by increasing the value of their forests through a pilot study in two regions in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Shortly after the request came in an email broadcast was sent to the volunteer database and 15 individuals from 10 countries applied for the project. The review of the resumes and interviews resulted in selecting Jason San Souci, GISP from AFE Advisors LLC. in Colorado and he began working with the CartONG team shortly there after. Read more here.
Mission with Fuquay-Varina Rotary Club - Panama
The Fuquay-Varina Rotary (FVR) Club sought GISCorps volunteers’ assistance to develop an online questionnaire to conduct a survey in poor neighborhoods of Panama. The objective was to locate and collect detailed information about the staggering number of orphans in Panama City and beyond. The online questionnaire will eventually enable FVR to geo-locate those who will be surveyed. In April 2009, two GISCorps volunteers were deployed to this mission. Jill Hume, a GIS Analyst for the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board and Steve Tsuida, a graphic designer and web developer with Kyros both in Calgary, Canada. Read more here.
K-12 Project - Hamilton County, TN
In February 2009, the UT-TSU Extension office in hamilton County - Chattanooga, TN requested a GISCorps volunteer to help them install the ArcView software onto their new computers and facilitate group sessions on registering waypoints, downloading it into the computers, and creating printable maps for display. Andrew Carroll, the GIS Manager at ARCS, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, was selected for this project and assisted the 4-H club in several projects. Read more here.
K-12 Mission - Grant County, Washington
In late May 2009, we received a request for GISCorps volunteers to assist a 4-H club in Grant County, WA. They conducted a variety of tasks including: teaching introductory GIS material to the youth, collecting information by digitizing and also GPSing various facilities and much more... Volunteers recruited for this mission were: Kelly Stancel, J.J. Bach, Crystal Murphy and Beth Carpenter. Read more about the project in here.
K-12 Mission with 4-H Club - Ames, IA
On June 1st 2009, we were asked to provide a GISCorps volunteer to assist a 4-H club in Ames, IA. The assistance was needed for critiquing various maps created by the youth. GISCorps volunteer, Brenda Swaim was recruited for this mission. Read more about the project in here.
Mission with HumaniNet – Oregon, USA
In March 2009, HumaniNet, a non-profit organization located in Portland, Oregon, requested the assistance of GISCorps volunteers with expertise and interest in disaster preparedness. HumaniNet was asked by the Director of Emergency Management of Multnomah County, in Portland, Oregon, to support an upcoming disaster response exercise, Cascadia Peril, with an online map-based information capability. Following recruitment, three volunteers were identified. They were: Michael Price, from Mount Vernon, WA, Mary Meade, from Milton, FL, and Paul Trudt, from Fairview Heights, IL. The HumaniNet – GISCorps team developed a new workflow and mapping process using Google Earth, building on the results of a simulation exercise in Thailand in 2008.
Mission Completed, no report prepared
Mission with the Peace Corps
GISCorps has been in contact with the Peace Corps for the last few months and as a result, they requested one volunteer to provide GIS training and advisement to their staff. Tom Conry, the GIS Manager of Fairfax County, was recruited for this project and has been working with Peace Corps team members. Peace Corps has initiated a pilot project and will contact GISCorps for additional volunteers in the near future. In March 2009, Shoreh Elhami, GISCorps Co-founder, gave a brief presentation to PC's Country Managers on GISCorps volunteers' capabilities.
Mission Completed, no report prepared
Mission with (PRAD) and (FBR) - Thailand
This mission is in partnership with Partners Relief Development (PRAD) and Free Burma Rangers (FBR). The request was for one GIS instructor to teach an introductory ArcGIS course and also assist PRAD/FBR with database design and application development for two weeks. Joe Forrest from North Carolina was selected for this project and went to Mae Sot, Thailand in February 2009. Read more about the project in here.
Mission with Engineers without Borders: NYU:Poly - Dominican Republic
In February 2009, we received a request for volunteers from Lonna Gordon, a Project Manager at Polytechnic Institute of NYU (NYU: Poly). She asked if our volunteers could teach at their upcoming workshop to cover the basics of Google Earth to 15-25 of their students. The objective was to teach them how to plot NGO water projects’ locations in the Dominican Republic and then further populating them with associated information. Read more about the project in here.
Mission with Broadmoor Improvement Association (BIA) - New Orleans
In November 2008, GISCorps received a request for a GIS instructor from Broadmoor Improvement Association (BIA). They asked that the volunteer would go on-site (in New Orleans) and train three of their employees on the use of the advanced use of ArcGIS software. Kathleen Coverick, Urban Planning Fellow at BIA, noted that though the BIA had purchased the software, the staff had only very basic knowledge of its usage and the training was intended to make GIS a much more powerful tool for helping the organization meet the needs of a community hard hit by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Read more about the project in here.
Mission with EnterpriseWorks VITA (EWV) - Kenya and Ethiopia
In late 2008, GISCorps volunteer Melinda Laituri, a Colorado State University professor, and one of her students, Joel Murray, started working on a GISCorps mission. The new mission was commissioned by EnterpriseWorks/VITA (EWV), an international not-for-profit organization based in Washington DC working to combat poverty through economic development programs based on sustainable, enterprise-oriented solutions. Read more about the project in here.
Mission with COPAE - Guatemala
On October 20, 2008, GISCorps received a request from a group of volunteers who were assisting a Guatemalan NGO, Pastoral Commission Peace and Ecology (COPAE) to monitor and diagnose damage to indigenous people's homes near the Marlin Mine in the vicinity of Sipacapa, Guatemala. They were interested in obtaining hard copy maps from high resolution imagery and base data. They also wanted the imagery to become accessible to them in Google Earth (GE) environment. GISCorps volunteer, Lars Bromley of Washington D.C. was contacted for this project. He was able to geo-reference and overlay a high resolution imagery which was provided by Digital Globe in GE interface. The image can be viewed here (you have to have GE installed on your pc to view this map). Read more about this project in here.
Mission with AAAS - Guatemala
The Science and Human Rights Program of American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) requested one volunteer with expertise in cadastral mapping and also fluency in Spanish to assist an ongoing legal case that seeks to protect property rights of an indigenous group in Guatemala. Odra Cardenas of Washington State was recruited for this mission and collected all relevant documents pertaining to the property holdings, as well as a satellite image for reference. At this point, due to details of the ongoing court case in Guatemala, a local surveying firm has been hired to serve the court and provide expertise. Should the Guatemalan case fail, plaintiffs are ready to bring the case to the Organization of American States (OAS). In that case, AAAS and Odra will review the materials and provide advice on possible alternatives for presenting evidence to OAS.
Mission Completed, no report prepared
Mission with iMMAP - Iraq
This mission was in partnership with Information Management & Mine Action Programs (iMMAP) and was completed in October 08. Four GISCorps volunteers; Shane Bergman from Colorado, Clio Andris from South Carolina, Chris Van Nice from Texas, and Matthew Redmond from England worked on this project. The project involved reading various narratives from Iraq security reports dating from June 2003 and entering those events into spreadsheets to be eventually mapped. iMMAP formerly part of the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, became an independent NGO in June 2007. They are the leading information management service provider in the humanitarian aid community. Previously GISCorps partnered with iMMAP to send five volunteers to Post Tsunami efforts in Indonesia.
Mission Completed, no report prepared
Mission with HealthCare Volunteers (HCV)
HealthCare Volunteers is a non-profit organization headquartered in California with the main goal of connecting any volunteers with a health-related volunteering opportunity. They asked if our volunteers could help them geo-code their existing database and then publish it in an online application such as Google Earth. GISCorps volunteer Tara Athan, from Alternative to Invasive Species Inc. in California, volunteered for this project. Read more about this mission here.
Mission with Kabul Polytechnic University (KPU) - Afghanistan
In Spring of 2008, KPU requested an instructor to teach two ArcGIS courses (introductory and advanced) to their faculty. An email broadcast went out earlier this month and 11 volunteers expressed interest in the mission. Carl Kinkade of BearingPoint of Atlanta, GA was selected for the project. Carl arrived in Kabul on July 3rd and returned on July 16th. Read more about the project in here.
GISCorps Volunteers Provide Assistance to Myanmar (Burma) Cyclone's Mission
In May and June of 2008, 31 volunteers were deployed for two missions at the request of United Nations Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT). Read more about the project in here.
GISCorps Volunteer Assists in the Aftermath of the Missouri Flood
In March 2008, GISCorps volunteer Heather Milton of URS Corp in St Louis provided GIS technical assistance to St Louis County Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Read more about the project in here.
Five GISCorps Volunteers Geo-Coded Events in Darfur and East Chad
In July of 2007, GISCorps received a request from Lars Bromley a Project Manager with AAAS to provide five volunteers to help them in geocoding events in Darfur and East Chad. Five volunteers from US and Canada were recruited for this project. They were: Nicholas Hauk from Calgary, Peggy Wu from Pennsylvania, Brian Mladenich from Oregon, Megan Winnenberg from Ohio, and Ryan Kemna from Washington DC. Read more about the project in here.
GISCorps Volunteer assists Local 4-H'ers in using GPS/GIS to map Barn Quilts of Sac County, Iowa
GISCorps volunteer Brandon Haas of NewCom Technologies, Inc. was recruited for a K-12 project in Sac County, Iowa in September 2007. Brandon provided GIS assistance for a project called Barn Quilts. Read more about the project in here.
GISCorps Volunteer Conducts GIS Needs Assessment in Mozambique
In early November 2007, GISCorps volunteer Fernando Sedano of Berkeley, California headed to Mozambique to conduct a GIS Needs Assessment. This project is in partnership with Agriculture Development International and Volunteers in Oversees Cooperative Assistance (ACDI/VOCA). Frenando's mission concluded at the end of November. To learn more about his mission click here.
GISCorps Volunteers Assist a K-12 Project in Ohio
Four GISCorps volunteers: Tara Havens, Lucia Barbato, Megan Winnenberg, and Patricia Moehring assisted Caching Our World, a K-12 non profit organization, in conducting several events during the Geography Awareness Week. The event was held on November 13-15, 2007 at the campus of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Read more about the project in here.
GISCorps Volunteer provides GIS assistance to Collier County 4-H in Florida
GISCorps Volunteer Darryl Clare, in November 2007, concluded a K-12/4-H project in Collier County, Florida. The Collier County GIS Community Development Project is a collaborative project of 4-H of Collier County University of Florida IFAS Extension Services, Collier County School Board, the City of Naples City Council. Read more about the project in here.
Teaching at Kabul Polytechnic University (KPU) via Engineers without Borders - International
Juna Papajorgji, Ph.D., taught a GIS course to faculty and students of the Kabul Polytechic University and of the Kabul University. The course took place at the KPU, during the week of September 1-6, 2007.
Mission completed, no report prepared
GISCorps Volunteer teaches at Gulf Coast Community Design Studio in Biloxi, MS
David W. Allen, GIS Manager of City of Euless, TX was recruited for teaching an ArcGIS course to Gulf Coast Community Design Studio (GCCDS) team in August 2007. GCCDS is a non profit organizationin Biloxi, MS. Read more about the project in here.
Mentoring/Advising Project for Pakistan is Completed
Miguel Garriga of Geographic Systems, LLC was recruited for mentoring/advising Bernadette Baird-Zars in May of 2007. The project involved providing technical support in building a geodatabase for historical sites in the Hunza Valley in Northern Pakistan. Read Miguel's personal accounts of the project in here.
Second Afghanistan Mission is completed
On April 5th, 2007, the second Afghanistan volunteer mission was launched. This mission is also in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Afghanistan Information Management Services (AIMS) and our volunteer, Chen Li, will spend one month of his vacation in Kabul. Chen Li is a GIS Specialist with the ESRI Northwest Office and his areas of specialization are with ArcSDE, ArcIMS, and ArcGIS Server applications. He will train AIMS staff on the use of these applications and will also help in geospatially enabling one of AIMS' current databases...more
GISCorps Volunteer Helps United Nations High Commission for Refugees Map Resources for Refugees in Cairo, Egypt
This past fall, Lori Quinn, from North Carolina, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission, was deployed to a (UNHCR) project that involved digitizing and geo-referencing resources in Cairo, Egypt, to support the protection and assistance activities of UNHCR for refugees in that city. The UNHCR reported last fall that Egypt had approximately 88,000 refugees, about 17,500 of whom were receiving assistance from UNHCR. Approximately 70,000 were Palestinian refugees, though few of these were registered with the UNHCR. Among the UNHCR assisted refugees, the majority were from Sudan, followed by Somalia. With continued conflict and political uncertainty in these areas, including Darfur, and the additional inflow from Iraq, these numbers were on the rise. Cairo, particularly the poor quarters of the city, has been the primary destination for these refugees and the need to provide services there has put the UNHCR's assistance program under tremendous pressure...more
Six New GISCorps Missions Started in March 2006 in Africa, Eastern Europe, and Pacific Islands
This year as a result of our partnership with the Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) association, spearheaded by Juna Papajorgji, Ph.D., the Co-chair and Co-founder of the GISCorps, our volunteers will be contributing to the global effort for building a Common National Spatial Data Infrastructure. These six new GISCorps projects will make use of Open Source development environments and of products built with OpenGIS specifications. All of the projects will be conducted remotely in support of major research and academic institutions in these countries. Following is a list of projects and assigned GISCorps volunteers.
1. Armenia: Institute of Geological Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences.
Project: Collecting and web publishing known volcanoes as they relate to geo-referenced topographic maps and DEM.
Volunteer: Ramasawamy Hariharan, University of California, Irvine, PhD, Candidate.
2. Hungary: Institute of Ecology and Botany, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Project: Develop a spatial web portal to serve natural vegetation and landscape ecological maps.
Volunteer: Philippe Duchesne, Ionic Software, Belgium, GIS Programmer.
3. Kenya: Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI)
Project: Web publishing of Kenya’s Oil Spill Contingency sensitivity atlas.
Volunteer: Dan Carey, Kentucky Geological Survey, University of Kentucky, Hydrologist.
4. Mali: World Food Program
Project: Technical and policy support for the National Committee of Geographical Information (CNIG), in their effort to strengthen the country’s SDI.
Volunteer: Sarah Williams, Columbia University, Director of Geospatial Analysis and Remote Sensing.
5. Marshall Islands: Environmental Protection Authority
Project: Develop a geospatial web application for GIS data/metadata clearinghouse.
Volunteer: Yasser Ayad, Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Associate Professor.
6. Namibia: National Botanical Research Institute
Project: Server side programming to enhance Namibia’s Biodiversity Database (NADIB)
Volunteer: Sean Montague, ATS-Denver, Inc, Lead GIS/Web Programmer.
Support for Medical Missionaries in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Guatemala
We have engaged in two missions in support of the Medical Mission Exchange (MMEX), a non-profit organization, headquartered in the US, which facilitates referrals of underserved patients to appropriate medical specialists. Read article from the GovernmentHealthIT Magazine and a fascinating report from the volunteers on their experiences.
The first mission engaged five GISCorps volunteers. Each volunteer contributed 40-50 hours and worked remotely from their home/office. See list of team members below:
Clare Brown, GIS Manager at KHAFRA Eng.Co. - team leader
Lucia Lovison Golob, Associate & GIS Advisor for IT Master Students, Harvard University
Alfred de Jager, GIS Expert, European Commission, Italy
Danielle Ayan, Research Scientist, Georgia Tech Center for GIS
Claudia Caceres, GIS Specialist, Forests and Rural Productivity Project, Honduras
Building upon the success of the first mission, GISCorps has just set up a second mission with the MMEX. This mission will tie the four geo-libraries, created for each country by the volunteers of the first mission, to the organization's existing tabular databases. It will also integrate these geo-libraries into the overall operational model of the MMEX. The second mission has engaged one GISCorps volunteer, who is conducting the mission on site.
Diana Sinton, Chief Program Officer, Latitude GIS Initiative National Institute for Technology & Liberal Education (NITLE), Vermont.
Four missions in support of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts
We have implemented four missions in Mississipi and Louisiana, engaging 33 volunteers. Three missions have been on site at the Jackson, Mississippi’s Emergency Operation Center (EOC) and other EOCs in Hancock, Harrison, Pearl River, Stone, and Jackson Counties. One mission is working remotely for the Washington Parish in Louisiana. Read article from the GIS Monitor... more
UNDP/Afghanistan Information Management Services (AIMS)
Shoreh Elhami, one of the co-founders of the GISCorps was in Kabul, Afghanistan in early May 2005 to visit with several governmental and non governmental entities. The main purpose of the visit was to establish a program for an ongoing deployment of GISCorps volunteers to that country. During her stay, she conducted several lectures and mini workshops... more
SeedsIndia & MapAction
The seven member team has been busy creating various datasets for the Little Andaman Islands of India which was severely affected by the tsunami. Members of this team all reside in the US and are working on this project from their homes and places of employment. They started working on this project in mid February 2005. This team is being lead by one of the volunteers, Beni Patel. The other six volunteers are: Peter Price and his students (Sue Burley, Douglas Mangum, and Randy Andrews), Marlen Kokaz, Chandreyee Lahiri, Meredith Williams, Dyhan Appachu, and Anand Trivedi. The team has been working on gathering data (scanning, digitizing, classifying satellite imageries, etc.) and creating spatial and non spatial datasets... more
Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation (VVAF) & UN Joint Logistics Center (UNJLC)
Five of our volunteers arrived in Indonesia on the 4th week of March 2005 for a one month assignment. Those are: Paul McKnight, Jay Meehl, Ray DeLeon, Heather Milton from US, and Dylan Shaw from Australia. Three of the volunteers are stationed in Jakarta and two are working in Banda Ache, Meulaboh, and Nias. The team is performing a variety of GIS tasks for the UNJLC under VVAF's direction. So far, those tasks include: image processing, data collection using GPS, field check, data model development, and more...
Frank Chang, returned from a one month assignment in Indonesia on March 14th, 2005. His role as a GISCorps volunteer for the Tsunami relief efforts was to serve as an expert advisor to the Global MapAid, a non governmental organization. The field evaluation conducted by the team would evolve to a one-year project partnered with a local NGO or education institute... more
Sacred Valley of Incas in Peru
Our first project was in April of 2004. Martha Lombard, assisted the World Bank in planning for sustainable development studies in the Sacred Valley of Incas in Peru.
Click here for more details on January to June 2005 projects.