Preparing to stand down on the Ebola phase 2 activation


This extensive data source only exists because of all the time and skill brought to bear by the SBTF team.”

“I think the SBTF has shown the whole GIS/IM community how a distributed online community can really work effectively”

Dear All,

The above are a few of the quotes from the many thanks we have received from our partner organizations for the work we’ve done thus far. We *are* making an impact, and our work *is* helping to fight Ebola.

BUT, there’s more to do! We need to push for another 24 hours. Please stay with us!

We will be finishing this phase of the activation at 05:00 UTC on Thursday 23rd October.

The effort everyone has put into this phase has been tremendous and words of thanks just do not seem enough. What you have achieved is making the most comprehensive health care facility dataset for the Ebola response.

The World Health Organisation GIS team will be using it in their response. They are recommending other agencies to use it also.

We now have just under 24 hours to finish verifying the final rows of data. Even if you only have 10 minutes of availability we invite you to consider supporting our final push to complete the verification of our work.

Here are a few examples of how your work is being visualized and supporting relief efforts.


We have been asked to convey to you the following messages.



Hello everyone,

On behalf of myself, the HOT ebola activation, and HOT itself I would like to thank the Standby Task force for the work that they have done in the ongoing west African ebola response.  The humanitarian workers in this area benefit far more from our combined response than they could from either one of our groups acting separately.  I look forward to continuing to work together in the future and learning how we can better support each other’s missions going forward.


Humanitarian Open Street Map Team



A massive thank you to the SBTF volunteers and yourself for the work that has gone into the

Health Facilities task in West Africa. This extensive data source only exists because of all the time and skill brought to bear by the SBTF team. Having that hard to come by information like phone numbers, the all important notes column, location and references back to sources (which are very diverse) is what makes this a resource to everyone from field teams to GIS analysts.

The Digital Humanitarian Network and SBTF team again delivered something beyond the abilities and scope of any traditional humanitarian organisation. The complementary nature of the work that digital volunteers do to the work on the ground by field teams seems to be getting closer and more direct.

Good luck with phase 3 of this work.

Unfortunately Ebola is not going away any time soon. On the ground they are doing everything they can to change this. Thank you for doing the same.”

Kind regards


British Red Cross  (GIS team)



To the volunteers working with the Standby Task Force supporting the Ebola outbreak response,

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is one of the most serious crises ever faced by MSF and by the global medical community.  We are facing a terrifying disease with extraordinary mortality rates, one which we have been aware of for decades but which has never been previously known to spread so widely.  The problem is massive, and the response (including our own) has thus far been inadequate to the needs.  Not since the emergence of HIV has an international outbreak spiraled out of control so completely.

The bottom line: managing this outbreak requires a massive deployment of highly trained medical staff, capable of safely managing isolation centers for a disease that does not forgive the slightest mistake.  This is not a battle that will be won by coordination, or by information management, or by maps.  It requires providing an unprecedented number of isolation beds, and trained medics to staff them.  As someone who spent most of my career doing operational management, I keenly feel the limitation of what I can provide in my current supporting role providing technical and informational support.

 Nevertheless, the efforts to provide information and mapping are valuable and necessary.  Ebola will not be beaten by these efforts alone, but every little bit helps. The medics, who have the tragic task of running treatment centers in which the majority of their patients die horribly, need all the support we can give them.  Every bit of information that allows them to make a transfer of a non-Ebola patient, or to send the ambulance to the right location quickly to pick up an Ebola victim before they transmit the disease to more of their neighbors, lightens the load on the population and the medical teams.

Our medical teams may not often take the time to express their thanks for the support they receive from volunteers such as yourself; they have little spare time and energy for anything beyond the exhausting work of providing isolation and treatment.  Nevertheless, they, and we as the wider MSF movement, and the humanitarian medical community in general, are grateful.  

Thank you.


Médecins Sans Frontières – UK


Please accept my humble words of appreciation for the work the whole SBTF community has done in all its coordination and mapping efforts.

As I am sure you are aware, general coordination, availability of various types of data and sharing these datasets have ALL been…I would dare say enormous obstacles in the preceding months.

I think the SBTF has shown the whole GIS/IM community how a distributed online community can really work effectively – I hope many organizations can learn from the way you work. Of course, I hope we all can utiize the datasets produced – and together with your facilitation also contribute to making the data better!  

I do hope that we can work together in different ways – small and large – to help fight this battle holistically.

With gratitude and respect,


ILab Liberia




I want to say THANKS for what you and your crew have been doing. I’ve taken some of the info that the SBTF has provided and passed it along to our Military folks doing down range (into Liberia). Since, access to Google Docs and Skype are blocked by some DoD Firewalls we’ve added a capability into our APAN site so that the Military folks can access the SBTF products.

Again Thanks,





So please after reading the thanks and seeing that your work is being used to help with the ebola response,  join in, sign up if you haven’t already and give even an hour to assist with the final push.

On a personal note I would like to convey my gratitude to Per, Joyce, Leesa and Hilary for all the hours they have contributed to support and guide everyone through this phase



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