Longmont company DigitalGlobe’s crowdsourcing maps may aid in Nepal

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Drag the slider back and forth to see earthquake damage in Nepal.

As the humanitarian crisis in Nepal continues to unfold more than a week after the powerful earthquake there, Longmont-based DigitalGlobe is helping with rescue efforts. Tens of thousands of people are accessing map data from the the company's Tomnod platform and tagging collapsed buildings, blocked roads, and other problem areas. Their work helps aid organizations direct their efforts.

Della Hoffman, a teacher from Denver who was stranded for five days on a mountainside in Nepal when the earthquake struck, said the mapping effort and other aid efforts are needed.

"Whole villages were completely wiped out by falling rocks and debris or, even higher up, avalanches, and there's just a huge need here," she told Colorado Matters on Friday via phone in Katmandu. "Buildings have been destroyed and I know that there are people sleeping in parks, and makeshift refugee camps being set up all around the city for people who have no other place to stay."

Hoffman and her boyfriend, Eric Jean of Denver, were airlifted off the trail by the U.S. military. They expect to be home this week.

DigitalGlobe's Tomnod has crowdsourced other efforts, like mapping the effects of severe flooding in Chile and the search for a missing sailing crew in the Pacific Ocean.

Editor's note: DigitalGlobe's Chief Financial Officer Gary Ferrera is a member of Colorado Public Radio's board of directors.