Calling All Digital Jedis: Support Recovery Efforts in Vanuatu!

UPDATE (April 12): New aerial photographs posted to MicroMappers. The Government of Vanuatu is asking all Digital Jedis for help in reviewing these photographs by this Sunday. Please use this link to help the people of Vanuatu accelerate their recovery efforts, thank you for being part of the solution!  

UPDATE (April 8): Uploading the aerial imagery from Vanuatu continues to be a major challenge (as expected). But we have been successful in getting some *new* aerial photographs, which we’ve just posted to MicroMappers (see link below). We also expect to get more photographs of the hardest hit islands uploaded within the next 2 days. So please continue to support the Government of Vanuatu by analyzing this new aerial images. Even 5 minutes of your time will go a long way. Thank you, Digital Jedis!

Tropical Cyclone Pam is regarded as one of the worst natural disasters in the history of Vanuatu. The Category 5 super storm resulted in major structural damage to the islands.

A team from the World Bank has deployed a number of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles)
across the islands of Vanuatu to gather very high resolution aerial imagery of disaster stricken regions. UAVs are basically small remote control helicopters and planes with cameras on them. Here is one of the UAV teams testing a remote control “hexacopter” over the weekend:

These UAVs have been taking hundreds of aerial pictures like the one below, for example.

Aerial Image Nguna Island

The World Bank and the Government of Vanuatu now need our help to quickly look through these pictures to identify which houses have been damaged. No previous experience is necessary. We’ll be providing “zoomed-in” versions of these pictures via MicroMappers: 

Aerial Vanuatu Zoom

The mission is simple and straightforward: we will simply be tracing individual houses and tagging them as “Severely Damaged”, “Partially Damaged” and “Little to No Damage” as appropriate. As usual, a Tutorial is available on MicroMappers to guide you through the mission. In addition, a chatroom is also available on MicroMappers in case you have any questions during the deployment.

To get started, please Click Here

Note: if you see the message “100% Complete”, then please check in later as we’re uploading new images, thanks! Also note that many of the first images may show no damage at all. This is good news! And the Government of Vanuatu needs to know this. The latest images added to MicroMappers come from the more affected islands, so you may start to see more damaged houses towards the end. (MicroMappers is a joint initiative spearheaded by QCRI).


The World Bank and the Government of Vanuatu need to know where damaged houses are to inform their recovery and reconstruction efforts. As such, this MicroMappers deployment comes as a direct request from the Bank and Government Vanuatu. So thank you very much for joining this important mission. To view the preliminary results, please click on the “Maps” link above.

Onwards, Digital Jedis!


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