If you’ve read some of my past posts, you would know that I have somewhat of an obsession with geolocation. In fact, it’s probably what I love the most about smartphones.

So, naturally, a recent article about virtual mapping in Haiti totally caught my eye. It was seven months ago that the earthquake hit and the country is still struggling to get basic systems – like sanitation and water – back on track. Despite the large amount of donations that were poured into relief efforts, it is still difficult to determine where services are still needed – especially in more remote areas.

So a new website, developed by the anti-poverty coalition InterAction, in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, allows all NGOs working in Haiti to have a central place where they all log where they are working and providing services. By creating a place where all NGOs can upload their data (can be as simple as a spreadsheet), this technology allows for analysts to see where aid is already being delivered – and more importantly, where more aid is needed:

Clicking on the map, it’s easy to learn things like: large central cities such as Delmas, Port Au Prince and Carrefour have more than 100 water sanitation and hygiene relief projects, while the Southern city of Port Salut has just two. Yes, Port Salut was further from the epicenter of the earthquake. But it was still damaged badly enough that many of its communities still lack necessities and electricity…

The system uses geolocation technology to make realtime updates to the map. It’s not clear (at least not to me) how exactly the geolocation stuff works, but  it all sounds really cool – and it seems like an effective way to track the distribution of aid among dozens of NGOs. I hope this helps bring fast relief to the people of Haiti, especially the more neglected communities that need it most.

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