Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Haiti SDI - WMS reveal a city of tents and need

(Updated Jan 27) In recent days multiple OGC Web Map Service (WMS) services have come online with high-resolution imagery from DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, Google, NOAA and other providers. A quick survey and annotation of these sources reveals Port au Prince dotted with tent cities - with some people some even writing "SOS" on rooftops in hopes of catching the attention of a passing satellite to direct relief their way (above).

Overlaying multiple WMS imagery layers from many dates - along with the cascaded OpenStreetMap (OSM) info - can reveal the location and growth of these tent cities quickly. You can get an idea of the scope of the problem with Gaia and this preview of tent cities near the French consulate - just hit the "refresh all layers" at the top of the map display to access the rest of the WMS. You can also use Bing maps to preview areas, and add your own WMS image annotations to the VGI WFS with Gaia WFS-T if you would like to contribute.

Haiti SDI Background

Volunteers from CubeWerx and The Carbon Project have announced that free mapping data from OpenStreetMap (OSM), the United Nations and other sources have been organized into an open information network for the nation of Haiti. The Haiti Spatial Data Infrastructure (Haiti SDI) is a public resource that may be updated by anyone and used in Google Earth, OpenStreetMap editors, the free Gaia SDI Platform and other applications to support relief and rebuilding.

Gaia users may click here to preview Haiti SDI data services now. This application will stream live data and maps to your desktop - some geographic features will display faster than others depending on internet connection speed. Service URLs are provided below for users on all applications to access Haiti SDI services and Google Earth KMLs will be posted shortly. The Haiti SDI is based on international standards from the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC): the OGC Web Map Service (WMS) and OGC Web Feature Services (WFS) Interface Standards. The Haiti SDI provides four service capabilities:

Cascading WMS – A unique service that provides a single access point for applications like Google Earth, Gaia SDI Platform and OSM editors that implement WMS. The service works by aggregating WMS deployed in the last few days into one easy-to-use resource - including New York Public Library, University of Cincinnati, CubeWerx framework WMS, GeoEye and DigitalGlobe imagery, government data and more.
OSM WFS – A data service that refreshes from OpenStreetMap (Geofabrik) sources every hour and deploys the data as OGC WFS so any application may instantly connect to the most up-to-date information from the OSM community. Includes the Dominican Republic.
UN WFS – A data service that provides United Nations framework data through an open interface that implements the WFS standard. United Nations framework data includes Boundaries, Hydrography, Transportation, Locations, and Population information.
VGI WFS – A Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) service that enables anyone to add GML points, lines or polygon WMS annotations using WFS-T, contributing their own Haiti framework data and information about tent cities, emergency operations, locations, and points of interest data. This service employs OGC standards based tools such as the Gaia WFS-T Extender.

All OpenStreetMap, United Nations and Volunteered Geographic Information for Haiti SDI are freely available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license. Haiti SDI services are being posted on http://www.crisiscommons.org/ as often as possible. The Haiti SDI services are evolving rapidly and updates are being posted here and www.Twitter.com/JeffHarrison. Please contact info@thecarbonproject.com if there are specific information needs.


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