Disaster Ninja is a critical event management solution that provides information about recent natural disasters, visualizes mapping gaps, and helps you connect with local mappers for ground truth verification.
While you cannot map new objects in Disaster Ninja directly, the tool enables humanitarian organizations to rapidly prepare and prioritize new tasks for subsequent mapping. Swift and reliable decisions about when and where to start mapping can save precious time for disaster response during a crisis.
We believe that everyone should have access to better maps, a notion which led us to direct our efforts and contribution to the free, community-driven OpenStreetMap. Our partnership with Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) has proven that having reliable location data is critical in disaster management. By enhancing OpenStreetMap data, we aim to support disaster response efforts and ultimately help save more lives.
Even though we specifically designed Disaster Ninja for humanitarian mappers, the tool’s functionality is much broader than that: you can get analytics for any area of interest, load your geometries to retrieve insights, and much more. You can even use Disaster Ninja as a digital atlas for your personal needs.
Disaster Ninja features a list of ongoing disasters from the Kontur Event Feed sorted by the population exposed. You can get a sense of the types of events occurring, in addition to location, severity, area, and gaps in mapping coverage right away. An event shape and a corresponding legend describe each disaster type. The feed can be connected to an organization’s internal communication systems and tailored for specific user needs to alert relevant stakeholders about new disasters.
When a disaster strikes, better maps enable better response. During the early stages of an emergency event, humanitarian organizations face challenges such as specifying the area that needs to be mapped as quickly and accurately as possible and picking the datasets that would serve as a basis for volunteers’ mapping efforts. Disaster Ninja helps save time by presenting the event’s details and all available datasets in a concise visual form.
One such critical dataset is Kontur Population. We created it as a fundamental part of Disaster Ninja to enable confident decision-making based on specific data visualized against population density. High-quality population data allows response coordinators to rapidly assess the affected area, ignore unpopulated places and focus on those with local communities exposed to the disaster.
As a result, Disaster Ninja often allows emergency cartographers to prepare mapping tasks in minutes instead of hours.
Our team creates analytical layers to help our clients and partners get relevant insights. In Disaster Ninja, we use the bivariate layers engine to visually explore the relationship between geographical data and population density on a single map. Here are just some examples of the insights you can gain:
Explore these insights visually in the gallery below:
With Disaster Ninja, you can see the most active mapping contributors from OpenStreetMap for any given area. The OSM profiles of the contributors can be viewed by clicking on their names in case the disaster event requires contacting locals for assistance in ground truth verification. You can also get to know how active the local community of a specific region is in general.
Disaster Ninja features several reports that help validate OpenStreetMap quality. They help to find potential errors and inconsistencies in OSM population data and fix administrative boundaries’ gaps.
Emergency mappers’ coordination involves quick decision making. It often means a trade-off between the speed of taking action and the potential outcome benefits.
An active contributor to the OpenStreetMap community, Kontur has partnered with the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (also known as HOT) to create a tool to support the rapid deployment of emergency mapping campaigns. Specifically, we aim to streamline and automate the Disaster Size-Up preparation process through technology, providing response coordinators with instant insights and freeing up time to maximize the efficiency of volunteer mappers’ work.
‘Disaster Ninja is cutting the size-up time in half. Now it’s possible within an hour to have a good feeling if there is a reason to activate or not. I truly appreciate having very helpful layers into one package because it’s definitely saving time.’– Russell Deffner, HOT Response Coordinator
Using Kontur’s GIS platform as a basis, we created the interactive Disaster Ninja dashboard that allows HOT’s response coordinators to outline the affected area and prepare a Size-Up specification without delay. In addition, we have built a notification engine that sends alerts about new disaster events and their details to HOT Slack. With just one click, the coordinator can start analyzing the event in the Disaster Ninja interface.
In this blog post, you can read more about how we did it, including specific emergency cases.
Numerous tools and systems are used for increasing situational awareness and improving decision-making during disaster response. These include spatial datasets, base maps, data feeds, communication tools, analytics, and more.
While there are valuable solutions for each task on the agenda of humanitarian mappers, Disaster Ninja aims to integrate the different elements and information that response coordinators need at the initial stage of event impact evaluation and deliver them in a single tool. Thus, the response providers save precious time during the early stages of a disaster and can use that time for subsequent activities and local help to those in need.
Disaster Ninja is available with most functionality for free. Start using it to create a positive impact now: https://disaster.ninja/active/
If you have questions or suggestions on Disaster Ninja, write to email@example.com or get in touch through the contact form below. You can also chat with us directly in the chatbox on Disaster Ninja, and we will guide you through the functionality.
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