With this week’s launch of the guide
to Planning an Open Cities Mapping Project, it is important to return to earlier work that inspired the Open Cities team.
It has now been more than four and a half years since the January 12, 2010 earthquake devastated one of the most vulnerable countries in the Western Hemisphere. Just before 5pm local time on, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti. The epicenter was near the town of Leogane, about 20 miles west of the capital city Port-au-Prince. The heavy block and concrete style construction of the capital— intended to withstand hurricane force winds—collapsed and caused massive loss of life and injury. It is now estimated that over 40,000 people died and over 1 million were displaced. As many as 40% of Haiti’s civil servants were injured or killed, and the majority of government buildings were damaged or destroyed. The World Bank along with donor governments and other international organizations launched one of the largest disaster relief and reconstruction efforts in history.