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This map is helping Ecuador’s earthquake relief efforts

Watch a report on a mapping project in Ecuador following its earthquake.

A project called Mapping Ecuador is allowing people to pinpoint hospitals, shelters and other key places in the South American country’s earthquake recovery.

Mapping Ecuador project coordinator Alexandra Escobar and her colleagues used OpenStreetMap, an Internet platform that pools open-source data, to gather site information following the April 16 quake.

“In two weeks we went from being four people on a Sunday to almost 2,000 volunteers from various parts of the world mapping the disaster zone to facilitate humanitarian aid work, and now the reconstruction phase,” Escobar said through an interpreter.

They upload photos to the online map showing which buildings are damaged, along with which ones are safe for shelter.

“For a humanitarian organization, it’s key to know where the shelters are, how many people are there, to know where to deliver donations,” she said.

The map that the group is maintaining is available to the government and aid organizations to assist in their work.

On Thursday’s PBS NewsHour, watch a report on Ecuador’s earthquake recovery.