Helyx works with the Charity MapAction

MapAction is a Charity that works in disaster zones providing frequently updated situation maps showing where relief help is most urgently needed. (MapAction webpage link).

Recent deployments have included:

  • South Sudan: MapAction’s mapping experts worked in partnership with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to help assess the humanitarian impact of the violence and aid priorities.
  • Serbia: MapAction helped map the needs of people affected by the worst floods in 120 years.
  • Iraq: MapAction deployed two volunteers to Erbil in the Kurdistan region of Iraq to support the humanitarian response to widespread conflict across northern and central areas of the country.

MapAction’s aim is to build a web mapping platform for use in non-internet environments, these are typically found after major disasters when existing communication infrastructures have been damaged or destroyed and prior to emergency communication systems being set up.

The aim of this platform is to be a simple and basic serving three main purposes,

i)    to create an interactive webmap allowing users to pan around the disaster area, select layers and create their own map by print / export to pdf.

ii)   to act as a data sharing portal to allow other agencies in the field with GIS capabilities to use the data.

iii) to act as a map catalogue for pdf copies of A3 maps created in the field.

Helyx explored mechanisms for field networking and the ability of users connecting to the network to be auto forwarded to landing page. Investigations also spanned statistics and usage of site pages including the ability to count the number of unique visits, downloads, and exports requested to the wifi / landing page. As part of the requirement for field networking, MapAciton have specified the need to be able to auto forward users connecting to the network to a custom landing page. This investigation considered a range of options and analysed the software required to fulfil this requirement and summarised software functionality as specified on developer websites.