Crisis Commons and University Researcher Help Digitize Disaster Relief

University Of Maryland Professor Helps Digitize Disaster Relief

by Sabri Ben-Achour, WAMU 88.5

April 21, 2011 – The earthquake in Japan wrought massive destruction in that country, and part of the humanitarian need there — and in any disaster — is the need for information. Now, a group of volunteers from around the globe, including one local professor, are working to make sure that in the future responders and refugees might help and be helped as fast as possible. At his desk at the University of Maryland, Professor Hiroyuki Iseki has a Google map of post-earthquake Japan up on his screen. … Iseki says there were able to locate public phones, charging stations, food supplies, water distribution centers and locations accepting evacuees. He says the data comes from people driving in the field, who then use smart phones to upload information to the Internet. …

It’s an experiment — an attempt to show what emergency response might look like in the future. Heather Blanchard is co-founder of Crisis Commons, a group she calls a “volunteer technology community.” Her group commissioned the map Iseki worked on. …

For full text of the article, visit University Of Maryland Professor Helps Digitize Disaster Relief – News – WAMU 88.5 FM – American University Radio.

For more information about Crisis Commons, visit:  http://crisiscommons.org/

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