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Crowdsourcing emergency response Pt. 3 - Crowdsourcing in Action

January 2011: This is the last post in a three-part series focusing on crowdsourcing in relation to emergency response during a crisis. The idea of accruing large amounts of data from the public during an emergency, or sending data out to be crunched by the masses, is at the heart of this actionable information and situational awareness relationship: from crisis mapping to handling the incredible amount of data during an emergency.

Crowdsourcing emergency response Pt. 2 - Crisis Mapping and Crowdsource Response Organzations

January 2011; In the previous post, crowdsourcing was shown as a way of collecting, analyzing and disseminating information. The challenge of crunching huge amounts data in real time from various media has always presented a problem for emergency response personnel, but with crowdsourcing, information processing has become much easier, actionable and faster. Taking that information and overlaying it onto real-time mapping is the purview of crisis mapping, an emerging emergency response discipline. And there are organizations who use crisis mapping as their primary focus for humanitarian aid.

Crowdsourcing emergency response Pt. 1

January 2011: One of the largest hurdles facing emergency responders is how to handle the amount of real-time information during a crisis. In order to get a clear picture of what is happening right after an earthquake, during a hurricane, in the aftermath of a terrorist attack, or before a flood hits, emergency response personnel and officials are increasingly turning to crowdsourcing as a way to digest large amounts of data and turn that data into actionable intelligence. Through social networking, text messaging and video crowdsourcing allows for multimedia information to be amalgamated and synthesized.

     
 
Phase I: Communications Uplinks

Many populations in remote areas are without dependable communications to support humanitarian on-site programs, or distance contact with remote supporters. LFH partners will develop an easily installed and operated robust communications core utilizing a satellite uplink to facilitate telemedicine, educational, commerical and artistic programs.

Phase II: Community Infrastructure

LFH partners will contribute their expertise, wealth and capabilities to develop micro-community centers that include vocational schools, arts/cultural centers, medical clinics built around LFH communications centers. Working with private sector partners and NGOs, LFH will help finance infrastrucure and support on-going partnerships to create markets for art and music, goods, training and other vital connections.

Phase III: Build-Out

Each project undertaken by LFH will anticipate a build-out stage, where private sector partners can build and sell homes, shops and other commercially attractive enterprises that use sustainable building materials and create jobs for the local population. LFH arranges investment insurance, both government and private, to make the investment attractive to potential partners. LFH will also help create locally governed credit cooperative to administer the titling, lending and administration of land/home sales including Sharia-compliant models.

 
Crowdsourcing emergency response Pt. 2 - Crisis Mapping and Crowdsource Response Organzations
| 01.12.2011 | 12:44:2424407 |

January 2011; In the previous post, crowdsourcing was shown as a way of collecting, analyzing and disseminating information. The challenge of crunching huge amounts data in real time from various media has always presented a problem for emergency response personnel, but with crowdsourcing, information processing has become much easier, actionable and faster. Taking that information and overlaying it onto real-time mapping is the purview of crisis mapping, an emerging emergency response discipline. And there are organizations who use crisis mapping as their primary focus for humanitarian aid.

The field began to formalize in 2007 when the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative reached out to "an active community of Crisis Mappers ... HHI's Program documented best practices and lessons learned through the lens of new technologies and methodologies." More than 300 leading scholars, humanitarian practitioners, software and technology experts and policy makers were involved in the process.

Then in August 2009 Patrick Meier, co-founder of the International Network of Crisis Mappers and the Director of Crisis Mapping and Strategic Partnerships at Ushahidi set about to codify the field. Meier identified three "key pillars" which would form the underlying structure of crisis mapping. Those pillars: Crisis Map Sourcing, Crisis Mapping Analysis, and Crisis Mapping Response would then also be broken into more detailed categories to form a cohesive taxonomy. A common language was also suggested to help the larger crisis mapping community agree on terms.

In a recent article in the Washington Post, Meier said he sees the new discipline as the future of disaster response. "We're going to need to collaborate, we're going to need to share data. ... The best way to provide humanitarian response is to be able to provide platforms," and tools to gather and disseminate actionable data.

Since 2008, several international projects have been created which use the open-source information and crowdsourcing technology provided by Ushahidi as a way address to a humanitarian emergency. To help respond to the flooding in Pakistan, Pakreport.org was created as an off-shoot of the Ushahidi organization along with another project in Haiti, Noula.ht. Additionally, the Konpa Group was from a group which "formed around the Ushahidi Haiti and Ushahihi Chile projects.

 
     

 

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