Haiti site from a Google Earth
Above is the map created of the Haiti site from a Google Earth image. Before the technology became widely available, people used maps and on-the-ground knowledge to decide where refugees should settle. “I’ve seen site plans done on the back of envelopes,” said Babister. “It can cause big problems if you are not able to plan properly. With an aerial photo, you can see stuff you couldn’t see on the ground. There might be a landslide nearby, or a chemical factory close by, that you cant see.”
CARE staff have now trained local engineers in Haiti how to use the software to plan resettlement accurately.
“One guy there was using a square to represent the site,” said Babister. “It’s actually shaped like a parallelogram, which the aerial photograph showed. This makes a huge difference to where the roads go, measuring how long roads need to be and where houses should go.”