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Tufts Crisis Mapping Class » Class 1

Class 1

Why Maps? An Introduction to Humanitarian Mapping in the Field
February 1, 2011 (updated: February 8, 2011 due to snow)
Guest Speaker: Sabina Carlson, via Skype

This class serves as an introduction to the field of humanitarian action and the use of crisis mapping. Course instructors will discuss the syllabus and expectations for the course. Sabina Carlson, employed with IOM Haiti, will discuss her experiences using mapping in the field and the benefits and challenges of new technologies.

Students will:

  • Receive an overview of humanitarian mapping, crisis mapping, and field work
  • Learn the basics of crisis mapping program design
  • Receive assignments for thematic groups


In Class Work

The instructors will be putting each student into a different NGO or International Organization team. Students will be asked to review the scenario (found here) and consider the response priorities for your team given the nature of their organization. Please follow the following links for the assignments: in-class and lab assignment.

For the presentations given in class, please go here.

Readings (due to copyright laws, starred readings are only available to those enrolled in the class)

  • Book Chapter*:  “Origins: International Humanitarian System.”  Walker, Peter and Daniel Maxwell. 2009. Shaping the Humanitarian World. Series on Global Institutions. London, Routledge. Chapter 1.
  • Blog: A Brief History of Crisis Mapping (Updated), Patrick Meier, 3/12/2009
  • Article*: “The application of geographic information systems and global positioning systems in humanitarian emergencies: lessons learned, programme implications and future research.” Kaiser, Reinhard, et al.    Disasters.  2003;27(2):127-40.
  • Report: Map Action Field Guide to Humanitarian Mapping, Map Action, Chapter 1.


Assignments Due

  • Complete the introductory survey emailed to you by noon on Tuesday, February 1.
  • The Crisis Scenario will be sent out the day before, just look over it so that you’re prepared for the in-class exercise