The National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation (NAPSG) is a long-time partner of GISCorps.
Since 2017, NAPSG Foundation and GISCorps have partnered on dozens of crowdsourced disaster relief responses involving hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes and flooding; these missions are collectively referred to as PhotoMappers missions. These missions are powered by a GISCorps volunteers who geolocate, categorize, and map public photos sourced from social media and news outlets. An experienced volunteer validation team then confirms the locational accuracy of each post and populates value-added information such as building damage level and FEMA Community Lifelines.
The main goal of the PhotoMappers missions is to provide early situational awareness to first responders and emergency managers at all levels. During large events, we are in daily contact with federal emergency managers. During smaller events, NAPSG ensures local emergency operation centers are well informed.
Scroll down to learn more about specific PhotoMappers missions.
GISCorps volunteers also support NAPSG’s FireMappers program. 20-30 trained FireMappers volunteers monitor wildfire experts on social media and map crowdsourced reports of wildfire starts in the wildland urban interface across the United States throughout what has become a nearly year-round fire season. The objective of the FireMappers program is to quickly map the location of new fires and link to authoritative information in order to increase situational awareness for the public, first responders, and emergency management agencies.
Learn more about the FireMappers program here.
CEDR Digital Corps
A third partner, CEDR Digital Corps, specializes in leveraging social media to help those in need. CEDR volunteers have injected several helpful integrations between Twitter and Slack for both PhotoMappers and FireMappers, and they support the missions by helping to promote the apps on social media.
The FireMappers and PhotoMappers applications have both evolved over the years as new technologies and use cases have emerged. Currently, volunteers and the public access PhotoMappers and FireMappers data through applications built on Esri’s Experience Builder. PhotoMappers data and applications are also shared on the PhotoMappers Hub Site.
PhotoMappers and FireMappers Volunteers collaborate in dedicated Slack channels throughout and between activations.
Current PhotoMappers Activation: On Standby during 2021 Hurricane Season
The majority of these disaster response projects are crowdsourced, and therefore open to all volunteers. You can learn more about participating by reviewing the most recent evolution of our Volunteer Portal, built on Esri’s Experience Builder platform. Instructions, FAQs and a video showing the basic workflow can all be found on the Portal.
Visit the PhotoMappers Hub page for further exploration of the data. All data is open for public use.
Past PhotoMappers Activations:
Many of our past responses can be seen below or click this link for a standalone version.
2020: Puerto Rico Earthquake, Middle Tennessee Tornadoes, Southeast Tornado Outbreak, Michigan Dam Failures, Tropical Storm Cristobal, Hurricane Hanna, Hurricane Isaias, Hurricane Laura, Hurricane Sally, Hurricane Delta, Hurricane Zeta
Additional projects and publicity:
Several spin-off projects have resulted from the Crowdsource Photo projects including QA/QC of 2020 tornado damage in Seneca, South Carolina and Hurricane Florence flood level estimations for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory which was included in this research publication.
NAPSG PhotoMappers Project Reports: