CMUSV Brokers GPS Units to UN Project-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

CMUSV Brokers GPS Units to UN Project

Jeannie A. Stamberger, Associate Director of the Disaster Management Initiative (DMI) at Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley (CMUSV), was instrumental in getting GPS units to a United Nations Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Office in Bogota, Colombia to assist the Humanitarian Rapid Need Analysis Mission to aid flood relief victims in Colombia. OCHA, working to coordinate humanitarian activities in complex emergencies and natural disasters, often in areas difficult to assess, issued a call for more GPS units in Colombia, where missions were lacking sufficient and accurate geographical information.

The GPS units, supplied by California-based Magellan company, will be used to collect data documenting the current situation and humanitarian state of the two million people affected by severe flooding in Colombia in 2010 and 2011, in preparation for expected severe flooding this winter. The GPS units will be distributed to teams throughout Colombia in offices in Medellin, Cucuta, Cali, Pasto, Villavicencio, Buenaventura, Quibdó, Cartagena, and Bogotá to collect georeferenced data to enhance reporting and diagnostics on the humanitarian situation.

Stamberger’s DMI team in Mountain View, California also assisted various agencies and first responders with data mining, mapping and other social media activities during the aftermath of the 9.0 Japan earthquake last month.