In the massive international aid response that has swung into action, an early crucial need is likely to be for information to steer and coordinate delivery of relief assistance across the affected area. MapAction carried out a similar role following the Sumatra earthquake four months ago: the Haiti emergency shows signs of being an even larger scale disaster.
MapAction's Chief Executive Nigel Woof said: "Within days we expect that dozens - or probably hundreds - of aid organisations will be trying to make sense of the shattered landscape and communities in Haiti. Our job is to gather information that can be mapped to create a shared operational picture, so that people most in need get thee right types of help".
This is MapAction's second mission to Haiti: in September 2008 the NGO deployed a team there in response to a string of tropical storms that struck the north of the country.