This is the process by which data and information is gathered whilst an individual or organisation is mobilising after the trigger event – sometimes called the crash move phase. The purpose of the scramble is to obtain data and information that may be needed during the initial phase of a response. As internet connections can often be poor or non-existent early on, deploying with some data to begin with is vital. Data scrambles should be intelligence led; aiming to anticipate what might be needed in the future and not just for the initial mapping.
This is typically, but not exclusively, basemap and baseline data. Some early situational data may be acquired. It should include the following steps in the tabs.
Requirements definition - based on what is known in the early stages, the aim is to established the data necessary to mount an effective humanitarian response and should include:
Dataset discovery - establishing what data is available. Using any preparedness work, make contact with people and organisations, check your post-mission archives.
Data acquisition - the actual process of downloading or obtaining the data. Beyond saving it to an appropriate location, it is useful to keep an original copy of the files. See Preparation for further details.
Check all aspects of the acronym CUSTARD, which stands for: coordinate system; units; source; triangulate; absent values; restrictions; date. See receiving data in the field for more details.
Resolve usage issues - understanding what, if any, limitations of using the data might be. There might be license agreements with providers that need to be signed or agreed. Data may be limited to particular uses, and this should be recorded.
Data preparation - the process for making the data ready for use. See the sections on Data naming conventions and Folder structures, which describe the reasons and process of data management.
Review - the data should be periodically reviewed to establish any gaps, and to adjust the requirements definition as needed, for example if the area of interest becomes bigger, or there is a significant aftershock. This could be every few hours or every couple of days depending on the speed of the scramble and response.
Final cutoff - this may happen if you are moving in to the affected area and need to make sure you or your organisation have all the data stored locally. It may be that the scramble continues after the final cutoff, but at this stage it should be looking for a few very specific datasets rather than lots of data that may be hard to locate in the field. It is useful to include a summary of the scramble including: