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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Emergency mapping: Putting geospatial data at the heart of disaster response Seminar

13:00 - 14:00
7 February 2024
B44 Room 1087 and on Teams

Event details

Geography and Environmental Science Seminar


When a disaster strikes, how do search and rescue teams know which buildings to search? How do aid convoys know which roads are accessible?

The immediate aftermath of a natural disaster is often a complex and challenging environment for humanitarian response. Governments and humanitarian responders depend on information and analysis that will allow them to make key decisions, at the right times, to save lives and alleviate suffering. Yet whether it is a sudden-onset disaster such as an earthquake, or a more complex emergency such as a conflict, the previous maps and information on which decisions can be made are often rendered redundant. 

Map Action was established in 2002 as a non-profit to help partners respond to humanitarian emergencies by giving them the information they need to make good decisions. It is a group of volunteers who ensure that agencies and governments have access in critical moments, to the geospatial information and spatial analysis needed to save lives and livelihoods.

Having been an active volunteer with MapAction since 2017, Ian will use this lecture to provide some background to the charity, highlight the role that geospatial data can play in delivering humanitarian response, and, reflect on his personal experience of volunteering.

Speaker Information

Speaker: Ian Coady

Bio: Ian Coady is Deputy Director of WorldPop and has over 20 years of experience using geospatial data to try and put some of the world's most vulnerable people on the map and ensure that they are counted in decision-making. Prior to his current role, Ian previously worked for the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and Office for National Statistics where he worked to put geospatial data at the core of international development activity. In his spare time, Ian is also a volunteer for the charity Map Action where he has used his geospatial skills to support disaster responses across the globe.

Link to join in

Please remember to turn off your camera/microphone to save bandwidth. 

Please also note that the seminar will be recorded.

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