Written by Tyler Bird on

Join us for the Hackathon for Natural Disaster Management, in Quito!

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CARTO is going to Ecuador! On September 2nd we will be participating in the Hackathon for Natural Disaster Management in Quito, Ecuador. The hackathon’s mission is to use data and geospatial technology to create innovative solutions to disaster risk management challenges and humanitarian response plans with a focus on volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and floods. The event is an initiative born from the Mayor’s Office of Quito, the Laboratory for Innovation of Quito and the Inter-American Development Bank’s Knowledge and Learning Department.

Cities like Quito are leveraging technology to arm themselves with as much information as possible about the risks associated with earthquakes, floods, fires, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis or a rising sea level. Geospatial technology is a crucial component to creating sustainable and practical strategies to respond quickly, effectively and comprehensively when the unthinkable happens.

In April of 2016 Ecuador suffered a devastating earthquake measuring 7.8 on the richer scale, killing hundreds of people and destroying millions of dollars in infrastructure. Following the disaster, CARTO hosted a humanitarian mapping session with Humanitarian OpenStreet Map to contribute to a post-earthquake map of earthquake-affected regions, using satellite imagery to assess damage. Humanitarian agencies use this information to inform their response. Located on one of the most active fault lines in the world, in the Andean region of South America, Ecuador has experienced just over 100 earthquakes in the last year alone, although many of these earthquakes occur so deep that they are not felt.

Ecuador also faces the threat of volcanic eruptions. Just 30 miles south of Quito is the world’s most closely monitored volcano, Cotopaxi. Last year, after 138 years of inactivity, Cotopaxi began showing signs of erupting. Five explosions were reported along with a plume of ash five kilometers long shooting into the air. Many small towns, agricultural land and the country’s capital face serious health risks, safety concerns, and severe economic difficulties in the event of an eruption.

The hackathon brings together the private sector, local government, nonprofits, the tech community, and international development institutions. Data, personnel, logistical and technical support are also being provided by event collaborators like Telefónica, #MappingEcuador, YoVeoVeo, and The National System for Information Management of Rural territories and technological infrastructure.

Prizes include $10,000 for first place overall to facilitate the real life implementation of designs and projects submitted during the hackathon. To show our support the best visualization using CARTO technology will win a 6-month CARTO enterprise account, empowering winners to make their projects become reality!

CARTO has already proven to be a valuable tool for projects that monitor fires in brazil, monitor global deforestation, predict correlative trends between mining and natural disasters in Indonesia, and assess the impact of an earthquake in Nepal.

We can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together in Quito. Stay tuned as we will be sharing some of our favorite projects.

If you are in Quito, we encourage you to participate in this fascinating two-day hackathon. See you there!

Happy data mapping, amigos!

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