Humanitarian OSM Team/Working groups/Activation/meeting 2012-03-15

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First meeting of the HOT activations working group which took place on IRC on Thu 15th March 2012

IRC logs

09:58 < harry-wood> HOT Activation meeting here…   in 2 minutes?
09:59 < harry-wood> (or did I get my timezones wrong again?)
10:01 < flavour> Correcttimezone
10:01 < balrog-k2n> harry-wood: hi, no, you're right according to what was said 
20 mins ago
10:03 < harry-wood> Excellent.   Schuyler will join us too hopefuly
10:05 < Schuyler> hello
10:05 < Schuyler> sorry for the delay
10:05 < harry-wood> Hello!
10:05 < Schuyler> what's up guys
10:05 < Schuyler> welcome!
10:05 < Schuyler> so, HOT Activation Working Group.
10:06 < Schuyler> basically, the issue that we have to take up is that crises 
come and crises go, and we don't have any policy or guidelines in place for how 
HOT can be expected to respond to possible opportunities to be of humanitarian 
assistance.
10:07 < flavour> HOT = Community of Volunteers (who don't need formal 
activations) or the (very limited) pot of money?
10:07 < Schuyler> partly it's a question of consistency: when/how can potential 
users of OSM data for humanitarian purposes *outside of the OSM community* 
know/expect that we can support them?
10:07 < flavour> To me expect => $, ask => hope
10:07 < Schuyler> partly it's a question of stewardship of resources: HOT has a 
pool of volunteers and possibly other resources... how do we marshal them to 
the best use?
10:07 < Schuyler> so that's what we're here to discuss.
10:08 < Schuyler> who is present for the meeting? quick show of hands
10:08 < flavour> What other resources are there?
10:08 < PierZen> HI
10:09 < harry-wood> I am present
10:09 < harry-wood> It looks like 'flavour' is present :-)
10:10 < Schuyler> welcome everyone and thanks for your interest.
10:10 < Schuyler> everyone present has been involved in an 'HOT activation' of 
one kind or another, correct?
10:11 < PierZen> Yes.
10:11 < harry-wood> Has everyone see the 'HOT activation' wiki page: 
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/HOT_activation
10:11 < harry-wood> That's something I put together a while ago now
10:11 < Schuyler> that's a good start, thanks Harry
10:11 < harry-wood> …which lays out some things in the *run up to* an 
activation
10:12 < harry-wood> I think it also offers a way to scale gracefully, and let 
the community participate in early responses to disasters which may or may not 
turn out to be activations
10:12 < flavour> Which I agree is important
10:13 < harry-wood> By this I mean the disaster may or may not be "significant" 
enough.
10:13 < Schuyler> as I see it, our task is to devise a set of recommendations 
for general assent that describe (a) what are the criteria for a 'HOT 
activation' and (b) what happens when HOT 'activates'
10:13 < flavour> I think (b) has to come 1st
10:13 < Schuyler> it seems evident that humanitarian crisis comes in a variety 
or range of "scales"
10:13 < flavour> Until we know what activatyion mans, how can we know when it 
should be done?
10:14 < flavour> Very much so - most are responded to locally
10:14 < Schuyler> so -- that implies a range or variety of "scales" of 
activation
10:14 < harry-wood> The presence of lack of imagery and other factors  shape 
things quite fundamentally too.   If there's nothing for the mapping community 
to work with… should it still be an activation?
10:14 < Schuyler> on one side, we have Haiti - a disaster with a global response
10:15 < PierZen> Our capacity to activate for big disasters is related to the 
tools we can offer. An other aspect to discuss is about the resources and more 
particularly for less experienced people.. Should we look at adapted Tool Kit 
with editor that integrates simple Humanitarian Presets.
10:15 < Schuyler> and the other, perhaps the recent flooding in the 
Phillippines, where most of the volunteers doing remote mapping were Filipino
10:15 < Schuyler> and HOT's involvement could best be described as merely 
providing infrastructure
10:15 < PierZen> yes
10:16 < Schuyler> in between, something like the quake in Japan last year, 
which was quite large but had a more modest global response than haiti, partly 
because the area was already quite well mapped
10:16 < Schuyler> Afk 1 min, please carry on
10:16 < PierZen> we provided tools, maps, JOSM styles and presets, ectc.
10:18 < harry-wood> Here's another case…   Somebody popped on the mailing 
list last week, and I think it went largely unnoticed. 
http://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/hot/2012-March/001587.html
10:18 < harry-wood> but I actually emailed the MapAction guy
10:18 < harry-wood> and asked if he'd like the OSM community to pile in and map 
Brazzaville
10:19 < PierZen> I did to. They were not contacted to deploy.
10:19 < harry-wood> I only emailed a day or two afterwards, by which time it 
might have been too late.  I think as it turned out they were still waiting to 
decide at that point
10:20 < harry-wood> and basically it was looking like not such a big deal.
10:20 < PierZen> This type of activation ii is hard to say how we can help.
10:21 < Schuyler> right.
10:21 < harry-wood> I spent an hour or so examining our map coverage and the 
availability of bing … adding some data   and fixing some mess in the data .  
 Also useful for getting a feel of whether an activation would work
10:21 < AndrewBuck> One way we could help is by doing armchair mapping to aid 
the ground teams, but that of course assumes we have imagery.
10:22 < Schuyler> so over a year ago (like after ICCM 2010) I wrote an 
"activation protocol" for coordinating with MapAction modelled after Hait
10:22 < Schuyler> (posting that now)
10:22 < harry-wood> I had the feeling I should've been following a protocol in 
this instance
10:22 < Schuyler> so, there are a lot of ways that HOT can contribute
10:22 < harry-wood> which might've avoided duplicate emails with PierZen for 
example
10:22 < AndrewBuck> it would be good for people going in with ground teams to 
have a way to tell us what would be most valuable to them to have traced to aid 
their work.
10:22 < Schuyler> if we have a formal partner doing a formal deployment, *and* 
we can get imagery, we can call out the whole OSM community
10:23 < Schuyler> but then *getting imagery* depends in some sense on what we 
can do with it
10:23 < Schuyler> we can get imagery from the US State Dept, for example, if we 
can justify the requisition on humanitarian grounds
10:24 < PierZen> For Brazzaville, what was needed was to spot hospitals, 
schools, etc. It was less osm mapping.
10:24 < Schuyler> but we don't want to call out the WHOLE community for *every* 
disaster
10:24 < Schuyler> because they will get tired of being called out.
10:25 < PierZen> Yes there are projects where HOT Team can collaborate, other 
where we use an Activation to have more people. 
10:25 < PierZen> more or less.
10:26 < harry-wood> Is it possible to devise some sort of flow diagram for all 
of this?
10:28 < harry-wood> It occurs to me that what i should've done in the case of 
Brazzaville …was set up the wiki page to describe what I'd found about the 
state of mapping there
10:28 < Schuyler> http://iconocla.st/o/mapaction.txt is the thing I was talking 
about
10:28 < Schuyler> so -- it seems like one thing we need to do is identify what 
actions HOT can take which would qualify as "activation"
10:29 < Schuyler> flavour is right
10:29 < Schuyler> if we brainstorm that list, then we can talk about what kinds 
of triggers should prompt those responses
10:29 < flavour> * Calling out the Comnmunity seems to be the big one so far
10:29 < flavour> * Formal request for Imagery
10:29 < Schuyler> yep
10:29 < Schuyler> * Setting up a tasking server job
10:29 < flavour> * Setting up Tasks on Tasking server
10:29 < flavour> ;)
10:30 < Schuyler> * Doing an analysis of existing data sets for a given area
10:30 < flavour> No, I don't thibnk that counts
10:30 < flavour> That can be done any time
10:30 < Schuyler> * Providing data dumps to partner orgs (e.g. MapAction)
10:30 < flavour> Again, that can too
10:30 < flavour> I don't see those as black/white cases
10:30 < PierZen> If I remember, MapAction asked if somebody could help to map 
hospitals etc. I dont think we had to prepare an activation for that.
10:31 < Schuyler> no? a big problem in Haiti was people making requests on 
crisis-mappers that just went into a black hole
10:31 < Schuyler> if someone "asks" HOT for something (meaning?) I want them to 
get *an* answer, even if the answer is "sorry we can't do that"
10:32 < flavour> Which is different o an Activation
10:32 < PierZen> In Brazzaville, it was a quite limited area. That is a 
question of degree. What Activation means. Should we have different levels of 
Activation.
10:32 < Schuyler> does an activation *imply* commitment of scarce resources? 
i.e. volunteers, imagery?
10:33 < Schuyler> PierZen: I'm thinking -- yes, we should
10:33 < flavour> I think it implies just those 3 things: Tasking Server, 
Request for Imagery, Request for Volunteers
10:33 < Schuyler> flavour: and setting up or updating a Project Page
10:33 < flavour> No guarntee that imagery or volunteers will come
10:33 < flavour> Yes, definitel;y
10:33 < flavour> I saw that as a pre-activation requirement as per HW
10:33 < flavour> But yes, best to ensure this is in there
10:33 < Schuyler> step 0, perhaps
10:33 < flavour> Yes
10:34 < flavour> But clearly in this overall document
10:35 < Schuyler> so there are possible triggers
10:36 < Schuyler> one is a MapAction activation
10:36 < Schuyler> another is a Space Charter activation, although we should ask 
ourselves whether we *ever* want to do an HOT activation that isn't 
specifically in the service of ground response
10:37 < PierZen> OCHA and WHO request.
10:37 < flavour> Does ground response have to be International though?
10:37 < flavour> I'd def agree that a formal request from any of those 3 would 
count
10:38 < flavour> Maybe the International component is important - to provide a 
threshold
10:38 < flavour> Between 'business as usual, low scale support' & 'All hands on 
deck'!
10:38 < Schuyler> and finally
10:38 < Schuyler> there's local request
10:38 < Schuyler> when maning goes "oh heck my country is flooding again"
10:38 < PierZen> This needs evaluation (local request).
10:38 < flavour> Where we can still set up a Tasking server & let people know 
it's happening
10:38 < Schuyler> that's local OSM mappers who want to map their own region and 
just want community support
10:38 < Schuyler> exactly
10:38 < flavour> Yet not make it a formal 'Activation'
10:39 < Schuyler> well, or make it a "local activation"
10:39 < PierZen> what i did for richelieu river as example.
10:39 < Schuyler> exactly
10:40 < Schuyler> I think the ground response criterion is more about "let's be 
sure people will actually use the work of our volunteers" rather than just 
"mapping for the sake of mapping"
10:40 < Schuyler> if OCHA or WHO or IOM or UNHCR say "we would like OSM data of 
this region" then I think we can agree that's a good trigger
10:41 < PierZen> +1
10:41 < Schuyler> okay
10:41 < harry-wood> yes
10:41 < Schuyler> does anyone have any questions, comments, or concerns about 
what's been discussed so far?
10:41 < flavour> Sounds good/clear so far :)
10:41 < AndrewBuck> been followinfg along...
10:41 < Schuyler> I note that we have two concerns, one is activation and 
triggers, and the other is ensuring that inquiries aimed at HOT get a 
consistent and organized response
10:41 < harry-wood> I feel the need to draw a diagram
10:42 < Schuyler> harry-wood: please do :-) I would volunteer but I am not an 
accomplished diagrammer
10:42 < Schuyler> in the UN they call that point of contact a "focal point"
10:42 < PierZen> and described what is an organized response.
10:42 < Schuyler> yes, agreed
10:42 < AndrewBuck> just want to say, I like the idea of the three levels of 
activation: local request, local response, and international response.  I think 
that helps resolve many of the issues with over/under using the hot activation 
by making it more appropriate to the situation on the ground.
10:42 < PierZen> Focal point, yes.
10:42 < Schuyler> so, organized response implies people being "on call" in some 
sense
10:43 < flavour> Volunteer Roles
10:43 < Schuyler> like, an email alias @hotosm.org that forwards to a list of 
people who know what to say and one of whom is guaranteed to respond in 6? 12? 
24? hours
10:43 < flavour> Is that 1 PoC for all orgs or potentially 1 per Org?
10:43 < flavour> List should work well
10:43 < robert_banick> Hey all, not to interrupt, but as a response to Shuyler 
at 14:41, what are your feelings about incorporating requests from smaller 
NGOs? I'm speaking as the GIS Analyst for the American Red Cross here...
10:43 < Schuyler> flavour: that's a good question. some HOT members have 
specific contacts with other NGOs
10:44 < Schuyler> robert_banick: that's a good question, although I think the 
American Red Cross is hardly a small NGO :)
10:44 < robert_banick> haha
10:44 < flavour> robert_banick: We're trying to distinguish here between 
requests/support of a more informal nature & 'Activations'
10:44 < robert_banick> I mean non-UN sized NGOs
10:44 < flavour> ARC operates 24/7/365
10:44 < flavour> Which isn't an Activation
10:44 < flavour> However if we geta  katrina or somethign then ARC could 
request an Activation for that
10:45 < robert_banick> Right. But we have a separate crisis division that 
springs into action for national / international responses
10:45 < Schuyler> does anyone object to making the question of answering 
support requests part of the remit of the Activation WG also?
10:45 < robert_banick> and they would definitely appreciate having a mechanism 
to reach out and, as you put it, say "We would like OSM data of this region".
10:46 < flavour> Schuyler: Gives something to do between activations ;)
10:46 < flavour> robert_banick: As I say, if there's a big event then they 
could make a formal request for Activation & I would imagine it being done
10:46 < Schuyler> overall I think it would be of long term benefit both to HOT 
and to its beneficiaries for us to be able to present a consistent, 
professional front to our partners
10:47 < Schuyler> when people make inquiries of HOT, they should be assured of 
getting a prompt response, even if the response is "sorry no"
10:47 < flavour> Would it ever be 'sorry no'?
10:47 < PierZen> yes.
10:47 < Schuyler> I think I said that earlier, sorry, it's getting late here 
and I've started drinking beer
10:47 < flavour> Would it not be 'We will fwd to the list to see if anyone is 
interested'
10:48 < robert_banick> flavour : thanks, I just wanted to be clear that non-UN 
sized agencies could request activations
10:48 < AndrewBuck> Schuyler: prompt response is key, even if it is no.
10:48 < flavour> vs 'We will activate'
10:48 < Schuyler> flavour: good question!
10:48 < Schuyler> ok, we are 10 minutes away from a full hour
10:48 < PierZen> about organized response, we need to develop more.
10:49 < Schuyler> we have generated some good discussion of the points to be 
worked on
10:49 < Schuyler> I would like us to wrap up by 15:05 UTC or so
10:50 < harry-wood> I think the idea of channelling requests/responses in any 
way comes with a risk that the communication is slowed down/fails
10:50 < Schuyler> are there definite tasks that can be drawn out of this 
discussion? and who might be willing to take them on? 
10:50 < flavour> * Completing Wiki page
10:50 < Schuyler> I volunteer to take on posting a log of this chat and a 
summary to the main HOT mailing list for everyone else's benefit
10:50 < PierZen> On hot.openstreetmap.org, i would see a link to an activation 
page. There, the list of activations and tools. Lets separate it from the wiki, 
make it more simple for the crowd?
10:51 < Schuyler> can I ask everyone who spoke up in the meeting to send me an 
email so I have your real names? schuyler@nocat.net
10:52 < Schuyler> you're now part of teh working group :-)
10:52 < Schuyler> on the wiki, we need a summary of activation outcomes, or 
products, as we discussed here
10:52 < Schuyler> with differentiation between things that qualify as 
"activation" versus things that an HOT volunteer might do any old time
10:53 < Schuyler> we could also use a wiki page that outlines a protocol for 
responding to HOT support requests
10:53 < Schuyler> this can all be sketchy... brainstorm like
10:53 < flavour> The key there is how much we need to coordinate internally 
first vs giving a speedy reply
10:53 < flavour> Do we have 2 basic response templates?
10:54 < Schuyler> right now we're generating ideas -- we have plenty of time to 
form them up and formalize them for the rest of the org
10:54 < flavour> 'yes' & 'n, but we'll see if anyone interested'
10:54 < Schuyler> flavour: no -- would you be willing to sketch out those 
templates?
10:54 < flavour> We may also need a 'questionnaire'
10:54 < Schuyler> wiki would be a good place
10:54 < Schuyler> these are all good ideas
10:54 < flavour> Yes, I can draft up the bullet points
10:55 < flavour> Maybe I'll await harry-wood 's flowchart so I can fir into that
10:55 < flavour> *fit
10:55 < harry-wood> trying to crystallise something out of a blurry mess of 
concepts at the moment
10:57 < harry-wood> what do people think of the term "Humanitarian Mapping 
Project"
10:58 < harry-wood> as a name given to things which may or may not become 
activations
10:58 < PierZen> it is to general i think.
10:58 < harry-wood> I supposed typically they'd correspond to a disaster at one 
place and one time
10:59 < Schuyler> "Humanitarian Event"?
10:59 < flavour> Yes...HOT = Events
10:59 < harry-wood> but also just ongoing mapping in one place e.g. Padang
10:59 < PierZen> Humanitarian Crisis Mapping Projects?
11:01 < harry-wood> Could call them "HOT projects" but I didn't want to imply 
that you have to be part of HOT to be doing mapping in a particular place
11:01 < PierZen> you have to think of search tools. hot is not good to be seen.
11:01 < PierZen> You need more specific words.
11:02 < PierZen> Now, if you search Crisis mapping, HotOsm is not showed.
11:03 < Schuyler> there's a lot of things called "crisis mapping"
11:03 < PierZen> even humanitarian crisis mapping, you wont see hotosm i think.
11:05 < Schuyler> ok, my friends, we've been at it for an hour
11:05 < Schuyler> I'm happy to continue chatting, but let's schedule the next 
meeting and call this one closed.
11:05 < Schuyler> one week too soon? two weeks too far out?
11:05 < harry-wood> yeah. better get back to work
11:06 < Schuyler> I suggest one week. Let's try to get some momentum going.
11:06 < Schuyler> this time next week (22 Mar) work for everyone?
11:06 < PierZen> yes
11:08 < flavour> Fine for me :)
11:09 < Schuyler> great, talk to you guys then
11:09 < Schuyler> thank you all for participating
11:09 < Schuyler> please do start filling out the wiki
11:09 < harry-wood> ok. see you then!
11:09 < Schuyler> and we'll meet again at 14:00 UTC on 22 Mar
11:09 < flavour> Actually, no next week, but np (Am at CDAC)
11:10  * flavour runs
11:10 < Schuyler> flavour: ok! if you make any progress with outlining the 
ideas here in writing, jsut email the HOT list :)