Neils Holms-Nielsen, of the World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Recovery and Reduction, says this event is quite important for them. The cost of disasters annually has grown for the past several decades, much faster than the global economy (not that the global economy is growing too quickly, these days). This is a problem from a development point of view. For about half of the world’s nations, disasters pose a significant hurdle to development. Neils is heartened by the people, ideas, and technologies represented in the room. The World Bank cannot address this problem on its own, and looks to build stronger partnerships and relations with the emerging field of volunteer technology communities.
Salim Saway works on ESRI‘s Global Affairs team. They’ve attended all four CrisisMappers conferences, and sponsored the last three. They support the disaster relief community with data, tools, and licenses.
Christiaan Adams is here representing Google’s Crisis Response team. They’re excited by the data, collection of imagery, open tools, standards for sharing, and other developments. He says that crises force us to think faster and more creatively than usual, and encourage an environment of community and collaboration.
Tara Cordyack of GeoEye points out the critical need for commercially-available satellite imagery in a crisis. Time and time again, having this imagery leads to lives saved, money saved, and infrastructure saved. They’re happy to support this community with imagery and analytical services.
Dan Palmer, professor of Computer Science at John Carroll University. They hosted the first CrisisMappers conference. They’re a Jesuit university focused on helping others, social justice, and engaging with the world. On campus, they have a Center for Crisis Mapping, working in crowdsourcing and spatial analysis. It’s not a single academic discipline or department. Sociologists, computer scientists, and many more fields are brought into the mix. They are planning an expedition to Uganda to map resources.
Camille Cassidy of Digital Globe also provides earth imagery, with three satellites providing imagery for a range of uses.