Kathmandu Living Labs: Six-Months of Earthquake Response

7.8 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Nepal

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocks Nepal, causing widespread damage across fourteen districts. Kathmandu Living Labs meets to brainstorm its earthquake response. That evening, Nama contacts Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team to seek help from the international OpenStreetMap community.

Read more April 25

KLL Establishes Situation Room

Operating from a parking lot because its office was damaged in the earthquake, KLL establishes a situation room as the headquarters for its earthquake response.

KLL Deploys QuakeMap.org

KLL deploys QuakeMap to bridge the information gap between the quake victims and relief agencies. On the same day, a powerful aftershock of magnitude 6.9 hits Nepal.

Read more April 26

Unprecedented Response from Volunteer Mappers

Within 48 hours, over 1,500 people begin to remotely map the affected area in OpenStreetMap using aerial imagery. KLL coordinates with and engages mappers throughout the world using chat rooms.

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KLL Produces the First Situation Report

KLL produces its first of many daily situation reports. The situation room report explains KLL’s actions in the relief effort and how others can help.

Read more April 27

Demand for Maps and Data Continues to Grow

Individuals, volunteer groups and humanitarian organizations begin to request data as well as printable maps for relief operations from KLL. Meanwhile, 2,200 volunteers have contributed through remote mapping.

April 28

KLL Establishes Contact With the Nepal Army

KLL establish contact with the Nepal army through its GIS division. KLL receives requests to map camps of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and KLL then asks volunteer mappers to assist in locating IDP camps with aerial imagery.

April 29

KLL Guides Doctors’ Efforts

KLL holds a training session for doctors assisting with earthquake relief efforts. KLL members teach doctors how to use OpenStreetMap and QuakeMap to determine where their help is needed. At this point, 3,300 mappers have assisted in mapping in OpenStreetMap.

Read more April 30

KLL Launches QuakeRelief.info

To meet the need for digital data and printable maps of the affected districts, KLL introduces QuakeRelief, a repository of printable maps that use the data mapping volunteers have added to OpenStreetMap Nepal.

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New York Times Covers KLL’s Work

The New York Times reports on KLL's earthquake response efforts, spreading the word about what KLL was doing. This is the first time KLL’s work appears in a major international news media after the earthquake.

Read more May 1

Nepal Government Recognizes KLL’s Work

The National Information Technology Center (NITC) lists QuakeMap on its website as an important part the local earthquake response initiative.

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Supporting Cultural Heritage Recovery

KLL begins working with UNESCO and the Department of Archeology to document the condition of cultural heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley. KLL develops a mobile data collection app and holds a training to show volunteers how to report the conditions of sites in the mobile app.

Read more May 2

KLL's Work Featured in Setopati

One of Nepal's leading journalists, Narayan Wagle, extensively covers crowd-sourced mapping. He explains the work of KLL: its background, the way KLL coordinates thousands of international mappers, the use and users of the map data.

खबर पढौँ May 9

Another Major Quake Hits Nepal

An aftershock of 7.1 magnitude further damages the affected districts and is a strong reminder of the importance of both recovering from disasters and preparing for future natural disasters.
 This second earthquake makes KLL’s office too dangerous to enter.

Read more May 12

KLL Moves to a Temporary Office

KLL moves into a building at Kasthamandap School so it can continue to work. Schools have not yet reopened since the earthquake, so a school building can provide a temporary office.

May 16

QuakeMap Reports Continue to Arrive

QuakeMap continues to be a vital tool in the earthquake response with 1,500 reports about the needs of earthquake victims and relief efforts.
 A team of volunteers processes and sorts the arriving reports, and follows up on them until reports are resolved.

May 18

Earthquake-Caused Landslide Blocks River

A landslide blocks the Kali Gandaki river, showing the need for continued mapping. It creates a temporary dam which leads to massive flooding upstream of the dam.

Read more May 24

New Office for KLL

Kathmandu Living Labs moves to a new office in Chundevi, Kathmandu.

July 7

Assessing School Damage

The Department of Education and The World Bank ask KLL to support an assessment of damage to schools because of KLL’s expertise in mobile data collection technology.

July 13

Crisis Informatics Workshop

KLL, the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and University of Colorado, Boulder jointly hold a workshop to discuss the role of data and technology in the relief efforts following the April earthquake.

Read more August 9

Mapping with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)

Along with Kathmandu University and UAViators, KLL co-organizes a workshop on using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones, for humanitarian work. The high-quality aerial imagery that UAVs collect can be used for assessing damage and planning reconstruction.

Read more September 23

October 25

KLL's Reconstruction Phase Begins as its Earthquake Response Comes to a Close

Kathmandu Living Labs closes QuakeMap.org, marking the move from earthquake response to reconstruction. Work on School Infrastructure Damage Assessment (SIDA) accelerates. The updated OpenStreetMap data--created by the work of 9,000 volunteers from around the world--continues to serve as an important resource. Meanwhile, KLL begins working with partners in the Nepal government and major international organizations on a housing damage assessment. The assessment uses mobile data collection to assess housing damage through all earthquake affected districts.