TIPS - H. Maria - examples


Hi, I am a relative newbie, having posted a couple of things here, and you have been very helpful. I have learned a lot in these few weeks, that may help others who are new.
I wanted to “give back” a bit and offer suggestions. This info might be somewhere else, but I couldn’t find a couple of these topics. My suggestion to help new folks is to add a couple more items to helpful images somehow - maybe have a “if you’re new to this - come here for examples”. :grinning::thinking: Don’t know if it’s possible, but I offer my suggestions…

I find your examples of damage very helpful! I searched and couldn’t find info on the satellite image angles though. I’ve learned that sometimes the angle is weird so it might show the front of a house distorted and it looks damaged but it isn’t, the image is just showing some windows, roof angles that aren’t shown on a completely overhead image. Some examples would be great to see for a newish person.

Also - people should know to REALLY check the before photos. If they spend hours looking at images, they may get ‘lazy’ and think there is some debris and check “damaged”, but if they check the before picture, the debris is just stuff already in the yard or wherever.

Another suggestion is to show the roof examples (I learned this from a recent post I read). Since that post, I’ve been paying more attention to roofs, and have found some damaged buildings I wouldn’t have picked out before. (Great to have read that post.)

One more is to “look for the river or landslide”. I found that I completely overlooked a landslide across a road that had destroyed property! (I did tag the damage and now look for that.). AND I found that a bridge that looked pretty good, but then compared to the “before”, I could see the bridge was flooded! It looked good until I checked the before. So now I have been following rivers close to roads and checking the bridges.

I’ll stop - hopefully I’m not annoying - just trying to help as I have felt this is important work, and I have enjoyed “helping” the people in the islands and Puerto Rico.

I will continue to look at other disasters and how I can help. (I am also a Zooniverse “volunteer” helping with Snapshot Serengiti for years.)
Thank you for your help!! :grin::heart_eyes:


Thank you, @Anne for this great post. More experienced Nodders have tried to make TIP and TIPS threads in the Forum. However, we haven’t posted anything under that heading in a while, plus the Moderators here (@AKE235 and me) haven’t directed newer folks to search for those words with the magnifying glass.

I’ll see what we can do about posting images as TIPS.

Much of this Nodders have learned on our own or sharing FYI items in regular posts. The sheer amount of possibilities makes it hard to document all TIPS-- it often involves asking questions here and getting feedback from others, then mentally filing that learning to apply to another campaign.

I’m real glad you posted. It reminds all of us to share the tidbits we’ve learned. By the way, anyone can make a TIPS post. In fact, I’ve added TIPS to your subject line.

Forum Moderator


Hi Anne! Don’t worry about be annoying - no one is here! Everyone has questions - newbies and “old timers” - and everyone helps to find an answer if they can. Sometimes you may even find yourself flooded with answers! :smiley: Keep the questions and suggestions coming! They are all appreciated!


As I always say, the only stupid question is the one that’s never asked!. Doesn’t matter if it’s been asked before, it can sometimes be a real chore to wade through search results to find the answer to a simple question, it’s just expedient to just ask it again :wink:





Omly a little part of the tagging are shown here.


Anne, I agree with your suggestions completely.
But especially about comparing before and after images. Why?
One way to recognize damaged buildings is to look for the underlying framing that supported the roof when the roof has been blown away. However, there are images where the framing looks the same in the before & after images. One possibility is that the building was under construction in the before image & finished before Maria which blew the just constructed roof off. The other possibility that the building was never completed.
Clues: Roof shards around the building suggest post-construction destruction. No shards and a floor of green like the surrounding area suggest a building that was started but not completed.
Zooming in helps, especially with small buildings.

TIP: Zoom in by double clicking on the area you want to see close up. When finished tagging, press the minus key to return to your former view. Zooming in also helps identify small building that might be over looked. And larger building where just a corner has been knocked off.

Roofs remain a problem for me as well. Blue plastic tarps are often placed over damaged roofs & part of roofs. But then some roofs use a blue roofing material. Only way to be sure is to compare before & after images.
Many roofs are not uniform looking. Dark spots, dark solar panels that may look like holes outlines that have more than four sides. Some roofs have rectangular indentations in their outline. Often Again comparing before & after images looking for the same pattern in each helps me to decide. I find that I am more conservative in tagging roofs than other taggers.


Excellent - that’s very helpful. Thank you. Anne