The humanitarian strand was conducted to explore specific approaches to image classification in response to humanitarian crises, using the IIASA/GeoWiki Picture Pile platform, and in partnership with the Humanitarian Open StreetMap Team (HOT) and MapSwipe, as well as the Planetary Response Network with Zooniverse.

Planetary response network

The purpose of the Network is to supply timely and reliable tactical information requested by established humanitarian organizations in the immediate aftermath of major disasters, through distributed analysis of satellite imagery (including imagery from Planet Labs).

It was utilised for the 2016 Ecuador Earthquake, where over 2000 volunteers helped analyse almost 25,000 square kilometres of satellite imagery in only 12 hours, and again for the 2017 Caribbean storms.

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PicturePile and MapSwipe

This project was focused on enhancement and integration of IIASA's Picture Pile and HOT's MapSwipe platforms. Picture Pile is  a microtasking application which supports humanitarian efforts through rapid assessment and classification of satellite imagery. To test opportunities and workflow for Picture Pile, it was utilised for Hurricane Matthew in 2016, and involved volunteers swiping through imagery detecting damaged buildings over  a  large region, by answering a simple yes or no question.

Picture  Pile  is  intended  to  supplement existing approaches  for  post-disaster  damage  assessment  and  can  be  used  by  different  networks  of  volunteers  to assess damage and help prioritize areas for rapid creation of up-to-date maps of large regions affected by disasters.