Geography Awareness Week Highlights Role of Spatial Data in Disaster Preparedness


NOVEMBER 22, 2016

Jakarta. The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, an international nongovernmental organization dedicated to providing high-quality geographic data, celebrated Geography Awareness Week by advocating wider use of spatial data.

The organization hosted socialization events in Manado (North Sulawesi), Bali and Jakarta on Nov. 13-19 to promote spatial data awareness in Indonesia.

"Spatial data can make a special contribution towards decision making in humanitarian response, disaster preparedness, and economic development," United States Agency for International Development (USAID) representative Adam Jung said on Friday (18/11).

Jung added that spatial data helps humanitarian organizations to make decisions more effectively and efficiently, especially when it comes to disaster management.


He also said incomplete spatial data is a bottleneck for disaster management, as it needs to respond quickly to tackle crises.

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, or HOT, was established in Washington, D.C., and came to Indonesia in 2011 where it introduced OpenStreetMap InaSAFE disaster management planning and risk assessment software developed together with DMInnovation, and InAWARE early warning system and decision making assistance tool developed with assistance from USAID, the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), the University of Hawaii, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Indonesia's National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) and its regional branches.

"With the presence of crowd-sourced mapping, such as OpenStreetMap, the public can have greater access to contribute to the completion of spatial data in places where it is needed, even in rural areas with little or no commercial attractiveness," OpenStreetMap said in a statement.