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April 26 2011


MapAction - Home Page

MapAction logo

The Emergency Mapping Service

Before an aid agency can respond to a disaster, their first need is for...information. Where are the affected people? Where are the relief resources? Who is doing what already?

MapAction delivers this vital information in the form of maps, created from information gathered at the disaster scene. By conveying a 'shared operational picture', our maps play a crucial role in delivering humanitarian aid to the right place, quickly.

MapAction is unique. We are the only non-governmental organisation (NGO) with a substantial track record in field mapping for disaster emergencies. Since 2004 we have helped in 25 emergencies including the Asian tsunami, earthquakes, volcanoes, floods and tropical storms. We can deploy a fully trained and equipped mapping team anywhere in the world, often within a few hours of an alert.

"Mapping support during the early phases of a response is critical, as responders and donors try to more clearly understand the situation on the ground. Without MapAction, the capacity to provide what is needed often simply doesn't exist." (UN disaster coordination manager, Pakistan flood emergency 2010) 


We have harnessed the power and portability of modern technology – particularly geographical information systems (GIS) and satellite location systems: GPS. So we can gather information on the ground, combine this with satellite images, and produce maps in the field, delivered directly to the rescue and relief agencies themselves. Between emergency missions we also deliver training in GIS and other skills to disaster management agencies around the world. Most importantly, we help to build disaster mapping capacity in the most vulnerable countries.

Making it all happen

MapAction delivers its ability to respond 365 days a year through a volunteer group of GIS professionals specialy trained in disaster response. Our volunteers work in a range of fields from Antarctic surveying to zoological research. They comprise the most competent and experienced emergency mapping team in the world. Backing up the operational volunteers is a cadre of full time staff, part-time specialist officials, and a board of trustees. MapAction counts among its strategic partners the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), with whom it regularly trains and works, UNOSAT, and the UK Government Department for International Development (DFID).

How you can help

Click here to find out how you can play a role in keeping MapAction’s volunteers ready to respond to disasters around the world.


Ordinary finds - Mal Waldron: For Every Man, There’s a Woman - from...

Mal Waldron: For Every Man, There’s a Woman - from Mal / 3 Sounds (Recorded in Hackensack, NJ; Jan 31, 1958)

Personnel: Mal Waldron — piano; Art Farmer — trumpet; Eric Dixon — flute;  Calo Scott — cello; Julian Euell — bass; Elvin Jones — drums; Elaine Waldron — vocal

(via jessiethejazz)

In-depth review of what's new Gitmo files, and coverage, from Foreign Policy, with links.


// oA:nth

The LWOT: Massive cache of Gitmo docs released - by Andrew Lebovich | Foreign Policy 2011-04-26
[LWOT: legal war on terror]


// oA:nth

via Gregg Mitchell on


11:15  143 Guantanamo files now released at Wikileaks site.   600 to go.

11:10  AFP with response from ACLU and others on the "original sin" of Gitmo highlighted by files.  Wash Post today, however, claimed files gives ammunition to "both sides" in the Gitmo debate.   Post editorial page has always been among most negative about WikiLeaks from the start, although news side of paper now a partner.

10:50 Full review of the Gitmo files, and the coverage, around the world from Foreign Policy, with list of new revelations and details added to what was known before.    For example:  " At least 10 foreign governments, including China, Tunisia, Morocco, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Jordan, Algeria, Yemen and Kuwait were allowed to send agents to interrogate detainees (Guardian). "

Twitter / Greg Mitchell: In-depth review of what's ... | 2011-04-26
Reposted bywikileaks wikileaks
Leaked publication channels for @Wikileaks docs to impair their impact? - cf tweet by @GregMitch to NYT coverage: RT


9:55 NYT, despite good editorial today, continues to focus its news coverage on Gitmo files on how evil and dangerous the prisoners were -- not the whopping number who were innocent.  Front-page story today on post-9/11 plots actually shows how far from fruition they were --which is why they have not received such full treatment before.  Michael Tomasky on The Guardian with good column here.


Twitter / 02mytwi01: Leaked publication channel ... | 2011-04-26
Reposted bywikileaks wikileaks

Gaby Weber. Journalistin |


Serie [von 2008 - siehe Skripts]  des WDR 5 über den Sinn und Unsinn von Geheimdiensten

Friedrich der Große glaubte, dass ein Geheimdienst den „sittlichen Charakter des Volkes verderben müsse“ und wollte „kein größeres Übel an die Stelle des Kleineren setzen“. Spätestens das Ende des Kaltes Krieges bewies, dass die „Dienste“ ihre Aufgabe nicht erfüllen, von Skandalen heimgesucht werden und eine Verschleuderung von Steuergeldern darstellen. Trotzdem werden sie aufgerüstet, in Deutschland wie im Ausland.
Bürgerrechtler schlagen Alarm: Die Geheimdienste wollen alle Bürger, unter dem Deckmantel der Sicherheit, als Verdächtige katalogisieren, überwachen, kontrollieren und vielleicht sogar terrorisieren. Die sechsteilige Serie des WDR5, ausgestrahlt ab dem 28. September 2008 jeden Sonntag, geht der Frage nach, ob die Dienste am Ende nicht doch nur das politische Klima vergiften und eine Konfliktlösung erschweren?
Gaby Weber berichtet über den Verfassungsschutz und den Bundesnachrichtendienst, über das verflossene Ministerium für Staatssicherheit und über die CIA. Karla Engelhard hat in Moskau zum früheren KGB, dem heutigen FSB, recherchiert. Und am Ende der Serie fragt Gaby Weber nach der Zukunft der Geheimdienste.  

Das Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz
Das Ministerium für Staatssicherheit
Der FSB (von Karla Engelhard)
Die Zukunft von Geheimdiensten
  Der Bundesnachrichtendienst
Gegründet an einem Ersten April - der BND  

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New Weaver Book a Gift for the Climate Confused

Canadian readers should keep an eye out for Generation Us, a tiny climate change primer by University of Victoria Professor Andrew Weaver, the Canada Research Chair in Climate Modelling and Analysis.

Subtitled The Challenge of Global Warming, Generation Us is like a climate change CliffNotes. Published by Raven Books as part of a "Rapid Reads" series, this is a short, succinct, clear and readable rendering of the science - followed by a passionate appeal for us all to move from "Generation Me" (which really seems to have outlasted its stylishness) to Generation Us, in which we start taking seriously the opportunity we have to mitigate the climate damage that we have already inflicted on future generations.

Actually, if you're looking for an informed tour through the science, I might recommend Weaver's earlier book even more highly. In Keeping Our Cool, Weaver drilled down into the topic a bit more thoroughly, even explaining precisely how scientists such as Lonnie Thompson torture 650,000-year-old oxygen isotopes to get them to admit what the temperature was on the year they were frozen into the Antarctic plains.

But for someone coming to this topic without any science background, GenUs is a perfect introduction - and as such is an important addition to the climate library.<!--break-->

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