The following is part of an email we received from our friend Gary Smith at Green Mountain Geographics:
"Hurricane season runs from 1 June through November 30. That means that in alittle over 4 months a great many earthquake victims could be at seriousrisk once again. How does Haiti start to house its citizens? It would seemthat there is an immediate need to design suitable structures to replacewhat was destroyed by the earthquake. Could the SketchUp community bemobilized to help? How do we excite AIA members in much the same way themedical community has become involved in Haiti?"
I'm sure many of you have been wondering the same thing. Aside from giving money (which is still the best thing most of us can do for now), how can architects and other designers do something to help?
Luckily, there are folks who are working to answer exactly this question: Architecture For Humanity is an aid organization that specializes in bringing international design knowledge and experience to bear on situations exactly like the one in Haiti. If you're an architect and you're looking for ways to become involved in relief efforts, I recommend you join AFH's worldwide community. To learn more about AFH's response to the Haitian earthquake, take a look at this blog post: Haiti Quake: A Plan for Reconstruction.
Another thing SketchUp and other geographically-minded people can do involves using Google Map Maker to draw current maps of the country. Accurate geographic information is critical to recovery efforts, and it's something that can be done right now. There's an effort on to do just that: surf over to Map Haiti to learn more.
Posted by Aidan Chopra, SketchUp Evangelist