Field Security Mapping Application
Client: Mercy Corps
Humanitarian relief and development NGOs often work in insecure countries where threats and risks can escalate and change at short notice. To maintain the effectiveness of a program, it is important that field staff and managers be kept abreast of the security and risks inherent in these working environments.
Mercy Corps approached us with a request to produce maps that could be updated easily by field security staff in each country of operation, with no GIS experience required. These static maps would be distributed to regional and global advisors on a regular basis to keep program staff apprised of safety or security issues where they are working or traveling.
But static maps get out of date quickly in such a fast-changing environment, and keeping these maps updated can be cumbersome. With Internet connectivity in nearly every corner of the globe, we proposed a lightweight Web-based map application for Mercy Corps field security operations. The application is a centralized, online portal that allows security staff in any of Mercy Corps’ countries of operation to make real-time updates to the map, giving regional and global advisors quick access to situational information. The interactive map is kept up to date by field security staff using data derived from Mercy Corps’ risk rating assessment matrix, computed through a systematic and objective methodology to assess the security situation. Areas of operation are then displayed with a color-coding system that allows the map user to quickly visualize the current security situation.