FedEx Blog

FedEx Blog

Mapping the Way to Long Term Recovery

October 6, 2010

Working with InterAction, the largest coalition of U.S.-based non-profits working internationally, and with the U.S. Chamber Business Civic Leadership Center, we are helping develop a mapping program associated with ongoing recovery work in Haiti. The goal of the project is to create a web-based map (see prototype) that will show where all of the non-profits are working across Haiti, who they are, what they do, what their capacity is, who they serve, etc.

We hope that having this map will create even greater transparency to the recovery efforts there, will help the non-profit community better mobilize their resources, and will provide information needed by donors – corporate, foundation and individual – to see where resources are most needed and how they are being used.

After refining the map for the recovery in Haiti, we hope it will serve as a prototype for other relief and recovery initiatives around the world.

We received a nice shout-out from about the effort:


    Chris Connell says:

    Great that you’re doing this, but isn’t there a ton of crisis mapping already going on in Haiti by Ushahidi Haiti ( and others using OpenStreetMap? Perhaps FedEx is already coordinating with that relief effort.

    Shane says:

    Hi Chris. Thank you for your post. And thanks for keeping an eye on developments in Haiti. The recovery there will be a long term effort and will need long term focus and attention.

    Yes, there are some other mapping projects out there. One of the big challenges is to get NGOs to update maps with current information, needs, resources, etc. We hope that working with InterAction we will be successful in getting this kind of information in a timely fashion. Since InterAction has such a strong network of international NGOs, we think that this is doable.

    On the business side, we are also collaborating on this project with the U.S. Chamber Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) so that we may help coordinate with their robust network of businesses to help link up resources with needs.

    InterAction and BCLC also have strong relationships with USAID and other governmental agencies that are supportive of this project. So, we believe this project is differentiated from other mapping initiatives in that we are leveraging pre-established lines of communications with uniquely powerful international networks in the NGO, business and government sectors.

    @Chris Connell

    Chris, you are correct; the response to the earthquake in Haiti has prompted the extensive use of innovative, open, and crowd sourcing technology.

    Although they are all called mapping, the purpose of Open Street Map (OSM), Ushahidi and InterAction’s efforts are different. OSM is trying to create a map of Haiti (roads, landmarks, etc. – not activities happening on the ground), Ushahidi is trying to track needs, while InterAction is tracking NGOs’ response. Haiti Aid Map’s objectives are to demonstrate InterAction members’ commitment to transparency and accountability, facilitate partnerships and coordination, and help NGOs and other actors make more informed decisions about where to direct resources.

    We believe that these distinctly different efforts complement and reinforce each other. However, we all have a common interest in creating user-friendly tools that enhance information sharing, with the end goal of contributing to the long-term recovery and prosperity of Haiti. Ultimately, we hope that this mapping exercise led by FedEx, InterAction, and BCLC will be replicated for future emergencies, and thus provide timely information to the humanitarian community, public, and donors.

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