Workshop with Wikimedia on Disaster Management: Connecting Humanitarian Actors, Research and Digital Volunteer Communities

Over the last couple of years a new group of actors has become increasingly important to support disaster management – digital volunteers. They support disaster responses and humanitarian activities from all over the world. Crowdsourced Wikipedia articles are oftentimes the first source of information people read to learn more about a disaster. Likewise, the OpenStreetMap (OSM) community assists response to disasters by providing up-to-data geodata. But how to connect these efforts?

Tuesday, May 30th, members of the HeiGIT co-organized a workshop with Wikimedia to facilitate exchange of the Wikimedia and the OSM / Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) community, researchers and humanitarian actors. The aim of the workshop was to learn about the organizations’ approaches and needs and to facilitate collaborations during disaster response activations and humanitarian activities in general.

The meeting was organized in the “Wikibär”, a meeting facility of the Wiki community in Berlin. The workshop was supported by members of the German Red Cross, the German Wikimedia community, researchers of the HeiGIT and the Coastal Risk and Sea-level Rise Group at the University of Kiel as well as representatives of the Open Government Partnership who all came together to discuss possible ways of collaboration.

We are very looking forward to take these efforts further and to support connecting the different organizations’ efforts. Please also find more information about the event on the Wikimedia portal here.