Checklists, processes, communication, clean water, infrastructure. Not sexy, but the plumbing of functioning society that makes it all happen. Check lists are coming back into vogue. When that plumbing fails society can fail.
Maps are infrastructure and vital for co-ordinated efforts.
When disaster hits MapAction Helps out with live updated maps for relief. This resource will become ever more important with crowdsourcing. Co-ordinating resources in disaster zones is a challenge and this looks like a very interesting NGO to watch and support.
I am a big map fan. We keep a 1957 globe in our living room as it shows how things change over time but still stay the same. My wife and I have lived, traveled or worked in dozens of countries.
My own interest in geography aside from tourism and anthropology field adventures is about dead capital, which I would like to help get rid of.
For those looking for adventure and charity, check out this rally from London to The Gambia in $250 cars. The cars are auctioned off in The Gambia for Charity.
We were all signed up and ready for this adventure in 2003. I was pouring over maps and guidebooks all jazzed. At the last minute we had to chicken out due to work (or lack thereof) issues. I had camped and traveled for a few weeks in Morocco in college and spent a solid month in the Nigerian southern sub-Sahara desert and was excited.This video kind of explains the drive across France, Spain, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania etc.:
My wife had a slightly rusted champagne colored 1983 BMW 3 series worth about $500. It was already for a one way road trip to The Gambia in West Africa. I was thrilled about the rally and will eventually do it.
During the summer of 03 the little car took us safely from London to Southern Sweden. Sadly it was left behind in London when we came to the US. It is now safely in the hands of a London based drummer.