Open Source Helps Earthquake Victims in Haiti


The OpenRouteService team at the University of Heidelberg has responded to the catastrophic situation of victims and destroyed infrastructure following the earthquake in Haiti by providing recovery forces with a new version of its live routing service.

Dr. Alexander Zipf's working group at the university took only two days to make the current version of its service available. The free online route planner now recognizes destroyed roads on the Caribbean island and is being constantly fed with current data. New information arrives at least hourly in the database that is updated by Pascal Neis, Johannes Lauer, and their coworkers in the Geographic Information System faculty at the Heidelberg university. The first version of the new routing service is on the OpenGIS Location Service (OpenLS) project page.

In the summer of 2008, the working group under Alexander Zipf published an article in the German version of this magazine describing their work and the power of OpenStreetMap, OpenRouteService, and the ensuing route planning service for recovery efforts as requested by the UN following the devastation from Hurricane Ike.

Assistance in the project for Haiti is welcome. The WikiProject Haiti is seeking help in identifying place names and streets for the OpenStreetMap project.

( Markus Feilner)

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