Half a world away,University of Washingtoncivil and environmental engineering students trace the outlines of roads, paths and buildings in Nepal from their laptops.
Using open data softwareOpenStreetMap, the students in assistant professorJessica Kaminsky’s Civil Engineering in Developing Communities class joined anonline community effort to turn satellite imagery of Nepalinto maps and aid the earthquake relief effort. These digitized maps provide emergency responders and relief coordinators responding to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake and powerful aftershocks in Nepal with critical data to guide teams deployed on the ground.
“Finding that one little village with no major highways and being able to tell someone that that village is there is really rewarding. Because if it’s not marked on that map, then there are a lot of cracks that it could slip through,” said civil and environmental engineering graduate student Leigh Allison.