This year’s International Conference of Crisis Mappers in Geneva just finished. The creation of the SBTF was announced at last year’s ICCM. Many SBTF volunteers were not able to make the conference and we wanted everyone to be present in a small way… so we set up this map: 


Over the past two days, volunteers have been reporting on what they do and why they volunteer for the SBTF. This post is dedicated to all the wonderful SBTF volunteers. With nearly 200 reports, we’ve learned a few things about you.

18% of reports were about volunteers out saving the world; 15% of reports were about loving maps. Well, that’s a combination we’re not surprised to hear about! Saving the world, one map at a time. But it’s not all about maps, some of you are donating to charity, buying organic, occupying places… and two of you helped an old lady cross the road.

9% of reports were about you loving your job, but then 11 reports requested more coffee, 4 requested a work-life balance intervention… and only 13 reports were about leaving the house. Y’all might want to take a break from time to time! Then again, there were 9 reports of parties, 5 of hangovers and 8 on falling in love.

You all gave some inspirational reasons for volunteering. To feel connected: “Crisis mapping made me feel connected to the world out there. It made me feel that I too mattered. Having never stepped out of my country, it made me feel like a global citizen.” Because a little help goes a long way: “If u want fulfilment, try volunteering! You want 2 touch d whole world, try #evolunteering! Amazing how much ur little help can do. #sbtf” And of course, for our excellent health plan benefits: “I almost went blind working this deployment. Thank goodness for the SBTF Health Plan benefits.”

You reminded us of our core values. Our revolutionary structure (or lack thereof): “Is the #sbtf looking for funds: NO! We are all volunteers and we do not want a structured system that requires fundraising!” Our commitment to global responsibility: “48% of indivs expect to rely on their neighborhood in a disaster. With #sbtf, my neighborhood is redefined.” And our wide range of interests: “Frantically finishing wind farm habitat maps in N Scotland, helping with our local community’s (rather early!) Christmas market & agreeing revisions to our map of protests & violence in Homs…….and remembering libyacrisismap v fondly :)

And then there’s some odd stuff. We appear to have a cat in the reports team as well as volunteers who can map but have trouble getting into houses. Some of you have obviously developed an addiction involving tags in blue, red and orange, whilst some of you just need to sleep and stop questioning subjective assumptions. And did anyone know that it’s Geography Awareness Week? Some people make map art to celebrate.

No way to do justice to all your reports, so go have a browse for yourselves. Thank you for contributing and for continuing to do such fantastic volunteering. I lost count of the number of times at ICCM that people encouraged us to keep up the good work and keep getting better at it. We even got some fan mail!

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