Fall_2013_Final_Program_Web2 - page 20

Technical Program
Wednesday October 30th
General Session 3 
11:45 am – 12:45 pm
Location: San Antonio Ballroom
Leveraging the Geographic Dimension for Analyzing
Humanitarian Emergencies: Open Source, Imagery,
Crowdsourcing, Mobile, and Semantic Web
Joshua S. Campbell
Geographer and GIS Architect
U.S. Department of State
, United States
Geographic data, analysis, and visualization are key tools used by
the U.S. Department of State’s Humani-tarian Information Unit
(HIU) in the analysis of humanitarian emergencies. This presen-
tation discusses the HIU’s strategy to build a modern geographic
computing infrastructure and new workflows to support this
analysis. Specific topics include the construction of the CyberGIS
and the Syria Viewer; a new crowdsourced mapping methodol-
ogy called “Imagery to the Crowd” and its results in Uganda and
Nepal; a new mobile data collection and distributed geospatial
data sharing toolkit called GeoGit; and, the use of semantic web
technology for data harvesting and integration. Taken together,
these technologies form an end-to-end solution for collecting,
integrating, analyzing, visualizing, and disseminating geographic
data and analysis. The entire system is built from free and open
source software, making the acquisition cost very low, and it
is interoperable with other software through support of open
standards. In building this system, the HIU is increasing the effi-
ciency of its analysis, and increasing the availability of geographic
data for humanitarian disaster planning and response by making
these tools accessible to the broader humanitarian community.
Joshua Campbell is a Geographer and
GIS Architect at the Humanitarian In-
formation Unit (HIU), a division of the
Bureau of Intel-ligence and Research’s
Office of the Geographer and Global Is-
sues, U.S. Department of State. He is the
architect of the HIU’s geospatial cyber-
infrastructure, referred to as the ‘Cyber-
GIS’, and has built humanitarian-focused
mapping applications related to the Syr-
ian refugee crisis, the Horn of Africa fam-
ine, and the U.S. response to the AIDS
epidemic. Technologically, the CyberGIS
is built completely from free and open software, and has com-
ponents for automating application production, advanced data
management, web processing functions, spatial data sharing, and
mobile data collection, all designed for use in humanitarian ap-
plications. He also helped pioneer the Imagery to the Crowd (IttC)
initiative, a process that utilizes the CyberGIS to publish USG-
purchased commercial satellite imagery, in the form of online
web map services, to the volunteer OpenStreetMap (OSM) com-
munity. Using these image services, volunteers contribute effort
into mapping tasks that directly support the prioritized provision
of humanitarian assistance. Campbell is currently completing his
PhD in Geography from the University of Kansas, where he also
holds a Bachelors in Anthropology and a Master’s in Geography.
Lunch Break – On Your Own
12:45 pm – 1:45 pm
Technical Sessions 
1:45 pm – 3:15 pm
Special Session
17 - The Federal Role in Response and Recovery
Support to Catastrophic Disasters
Moderator: Bruce Davis,
Department of Homeland Security
United States
Location: San Antonio Ballroom
Chris Vaughan,* Department of Homeland Security, United
John Desmarais,*
Civil Air Patrol
, United States
Louis Halbert,
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
United States
*Speaker will participate remotely.
18 - Visualization and Communication – Results of
the Student Map Competition – Presentations
Student Map Competition Presentations
Location: Executive Salon 3
Responding to disaster events requires a quick response on the
part of public officials in order to protect the public. Maps are
one means of communication that public officials use to warn
citizens of potential danger. This student challenge focuses on
the use of data from Hurricane Ike, a category 4 hurricane that
took place in September 2008, affecting the city of Galveston,
Texas. Success is judged by the map or visualization product, a
written document detailing the methods used to arrive at the
map product, and an oral presentation.
Judges Panel:
Tom Cova
Kaile Bower
Alan Mikuni
Ningchaun Xiao
CaGIS/ASPRS 2013 Specialty Conference • www.asprs.org/Conferences/San-Antonio-2013
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