Facebook introduced Disaster Maps in India on Thursday. Disaster Maps will help people across the country recover and rebuild from natural disasters. Disaster Maps was first introduced globally in June. These maps use aggregated Facebook data to help organizations address the critical gap in the information they often face when responding to natural disasters.
Facebook has partnered with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society SEEDS in India, to offer tools to these agencies to help them respond more effectively to natural disasters.The service was announced at Facebook’s first annual Disaster Response Summit held in New Delhi. The summit was attended by policymakers, think tanks, and many humanitarian organizations.
Facebook is planning to provide multiple maps like Location Density Maps which will show where people are located before, during and after a disaster. As per Facebook, We can compare this information to historical records, like population estimates based on satellite images. Comparing these data sets can help response organizations understand areas impacted by a natural disaster. Same way Movement Maps illustrate patterns of movement between different neighborhoods or cities over a period of several hours.
Facebook Head of Programs of Asia Ritesh Mehta said the intention of introducing these initiatives is to help improve response efforts to natural disasters in India. He also added “In times of disaster, our platform is a valuable source of information – whether it’s letting your friends and family know you are safe with Safety Check feature or using Facebook to raise donations for relief efforts.”
The programme will be piloted in two disaster-prone states Assam and Uttarakhand.This programme with SEEDS will establish a network of volunteers to provide real-time, first-hand information on disasters in their local communities.