By Tyler Bird, Community Development Strategist at CARTO
Geospatial data and analysis, can help to better monitor and plan cities as well as understand the risk of climate change, natural disasters and other crisis in order to create comprehensive strategies to monitor events as they happen. As well as this, it helps to create plans for effective humanitarian response, and protect vulnerable communities who are at more risk of feeling the long term physical, economic and social repercussions of natural disasters.
CARTO is an open source and cloud based location intelligence, geospatial analysis and mapping software. This tool is used by nonprofits, journalists, governments and aid agencies around the world to leverage geospatial technology to uncover new insights for better decision making, tell compelling stories and to conduct deep and complex analysis with ease.
Below, we feature four examples of how location data can be used:
Real time monitoring
The National Institute for Space Research alerted the public in Brazil on July 27 about the danger and consequences of extreme drought, which has intensified over recent months. The number of fires, as always, increases during this time of year. This is a map with the most recent fire count made by VIIRS sensor. The high-resolution map revealed more than 6,000 hot spots as of July 26. CARTO enables real time updates for accurate monitoring and evaluation of environmental and health risks as they unfold.
Using CARTO’s torque library this visualization shows the correlation between natural disasters such as floods, landslides and forest fires and mining operations, in Indonesia. Any dataset with a time component can benefit from the torque library by visualizing trends as they occur over time. Time is a crucial component when it comes to natural disaster risk management and planning, which is why this functionality is so powerful and useful for understanding relationships between humans, the natural environment and time.
When natural disasters occur, data visualization and mapping are fundamental tools for responders as they identify which communities were hit hardest, and therefore which communities should be prioritized to receive humanitarian aid first. The following map which you can access here, demonstrates what this analysis looked like in the case of Nepal.
Global Forest Watch (GFW) is a dynamic online forest monitoring and alert system that empowers people everywhere to better manage forests. For the first time, Global Forest Watch unites satellite technology, open data, and crowdsourcing to guarantee access to timely and reliable information about forests. GFW is free and follows an open data approach in putting decision-relevant information in the hands of governments, companies, NGOs, and the public.
Global Forest Watch is a continuous evolving project where new data about deforestation is being added almost every day. By using the Torque library and the CARTO platform capabilities for rendering dynamic maps, the World Resources Institute, with help from more than 20 partners, has built this awesome project which provides among others, some beautiful maps like the one you can see below.
Tyler has a Master Degree in International Affairs and Urban Development from the New York School in New York. He has been working in Latin America for the last three years, specifically in Peru, Colombia, and Paraguay. Currently, Tyler works as a community development specialist in CARTO, managing the Grants program and collaborating both with non-profit international actors and organizations, and with governments in order to take advantage of technology to promote social, environmental, and economic well-being.