Using Google Earth to inform cyclone response

Friday, May 9, 2008 at 1:30 AM



At Direct Relief International, we rely on Google Earth in both our ongoing and emergency response efforts to help target medical assistance.

As part of our response to Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar (Burma), we plotted all of the Myanmar Ministry of Health facilities (over 700 sites) using data from the WHO 2002 Global Health Atlas survey. We utilized Google Earth's Spreadsheet Mapper tool to quickly create placemarks. We've now made this KML available for you to download.

We color-coded the sites by the capacity of the facility so that you can visually differentiate between larger hospitals, specialized medical units, and clinics/rural health centers.

By combining layers showing the governmental and nongovernmental health facilities that we work with, and the physical impact, we can focus our response on those points of access to healthcare that are serving the most affected communities. Using this geospatial information in conjunction with situation reports from the field enables us to more efficiently target our assistance.