1. INFOACTIVISM: Giving relief that edge, via maps and GIS — Sandra Sudhoff (France) (Frederick) ———————————————————————- Message: 1 Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2009 18:21:18 +0530 From: Frederick Noronha [??????? ???????] Subject: INFOACTIVISM: Giving relief that edge, via maps and GIS — Sandra Sudhoff (France)

French NGO CartONG uses mapping and GIS. So what, you might ask. It’s goal is unusual: to offer info-management services to relief organisations. It also uses geo-spacial data to manage displaced populations. At cartong.org, Sandra Sudhoff is the Information Manager. She’s keen on developing web mapping for advocacy. Likewise, she’s also spearheading an initiative called GeONG. It’s goal is to link diverse French humanitarian organisations in the fields of GIS and mapping. FN: Could you explain cartong.org in brief? It’s history and current focus? CartONG is a non-profit organization registered in France since Fall 2006 and based in Chambery. [Chamb?ry (Italian: Ciamber? or Sciamber?) is the capital of the department of Savoie, France. It has been the historical capital of the Savoy region since the 13th century, when Amadeus V of Savoy made it his seat of power.] CartONG provides information management services and GIS to humanitarian relief organizations. Its specialisation lies in using geo-spatial data to manage displaced populations. FN: Tell us about some of your projects? Past projects have included: Creation, management and roll-out of a Return Monitoring Database Implementation of Google Web applications Assisting the Logcluster with the management of field based information in an emergency context And, of course, maps production, digital and hard-copy, for various organizations. (References: UNHCR, UNJLC/LogCluster) Most projects are field-based. Except for capacity building interventions at the HQ level for technical staff as well as decision makers within international organizations (References: Solidarites, ACF) and map production for visibility purpose on Global level (References: UNHCR Global Appeal Maps as well as Google Earth Outreach) FN: What drew you to South Asia for this [http://www.informationactivism.org] camp? So many cutting-edge and innovative people will be there; CartONG hopes to learn from their experiences. FN: Which of your work are you exceptionally proud of? The production of the UNHCR Google Outreach layers; the district brochure produced for Gulu/Amuru district in Uganda; the Uganda IDP WebInfo online Google Map application. [An August 2008 report says: Representatives of Google and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) have unveiled a powerful new online mapping program that provides an up-close and multifaceted view of some of the world’s major displacement crises and the humanitarian efforts aimed at helping the victims. See http://www.enewsbuilder.net/focalpoint/e_article001173744.cfm%5D FN: What is the main goal of your campaigns and your work? Providing mapping services and information management for humanitarian organizations. Our main partner is the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). Our main objective is to enable organizations — local governments too — to manage existing data and use it as baseline to plan their interventions and monitor their progress and impact. By “existing data” we refer to the local governments’ own data, as well as integrating from other available data sources. Thus, capacity building is one of the key elements in a CartONG field based project to ensure sustainability. FN: How do you see your work empowering other campaigners? The data collected and the tools developed will enable other campaigners to bring a spatial dimension into their campaigns. Geography and the spatial context matters. FN: What’s the biggest challenge you have with handling information? Different file formats and [the need for] streamlining the type of information collected, and how it is collected. Often this results in a lot of [unnecessary] manual labour. This could have be avoided if the participating parties had discussed the prerequisites beforehand. FN: What is your background? Why did you opt for this alternative field? I am an engineer (Landscape Planning/Landscape Architecture) by way of a first degree and completed a Masters in GIS and Remote Sensing. Since writing my first thesis for the GTZ (German Technical Cooperation, a development agency) and a Master Thesis for UNHCR, I’ve been interested in the humanitarian and development field ever since. FN: Why is your focus on lawyers? How do they respond (generally speaking) when it comes to taking up new tools? Most of the UNHCR staff (our main partner) have a legal background; that is why we are focusing on them. Taking up new tools really depends on the individual. But, generally speaking, most could improve the visualisation of their campaigns for the non-legal staff and campaigners and consequently have a bigger outreach. CONTACTS: CartONG, 180, rue du Genevois, 73000 Chambery, France s_sudhoff@cartong.org +49 175 505 6413 (cell) +33 4 79 26 28 82 (CartONG office line). MORE INTERVIEWS at http://www.informationactivism.org/blog — FN * http://fredericknoronha.wordpress.com M: +91-9822122436 P: +91-832-2409490 Copylefted Goa books http://goa1556books.notlong.com/ —————————— # distributed via : no commercial use without permission # is a moderated mailing list for net criticism, # collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets # more info: http://mail.kein.org/mailman/listinfo/nettime-l End of nettime-l Digest, Vol 17, Issue 4 ****************************************

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