Tag Archive | Crisis Mapping

Mapping the Growth of OpenStreetMap

by Emily Badger, The Atlantic, March 14, 2013

OpenStreetMap is a marvel of modern crowdsourcing. Since its creation in 2004, DIY cartographers – typically armed with GPS devices or satellite photography – have been slowly mapping the world’s road networks and landmarks to create a free alternative to proprietary geographic data that can then support tools like trip planners. The process, which began in the U.K., is painstaking and piecemeal, and nearly a decade into it, more than a million people have contributed a sliver of road here or a surveyed cul-de-sac there. …

For full text of this article, visit Mapping the Growth of OpenStreetMap – Emily Badger – The Atlantic Cities.

Also check out the great work of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team.

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Is Social Media a Cybersecurity Gamechanger?

February 27, 2013

The Commons Lab just released a new policy memo analyzing the increased potential of social media to exacerbate conflict situations and create cybersecurity threats – a potential “gamechanger” as the United States seeks to ramp up its cybersecurity efforts. The brief is the first in the program’s Policy Memo Series. Author: Dr. Rebecca Goolsby.

Summary: Social media is responsible for much positive change in the world. But these new tools can be used by bad actors to foment strife and undermine stability, as seen during violent incidents in the Assam state of northeast India in July 2012. Cybersecurity efforts must take into account the growing potential for cyber-attack using social media, where hoax messages are incorporated into a stream of otherwise legitimate messages, and understand how quickly mobile apps and text services can disseminate false information. Authorities and volunteers must develop a healthy skepticism about information derived from these systems and new research and tools are needed to facilitate the self-policing of social media.

To download a copy of the report On Cybersecurity, Crowdsourcing, and Social Cyber-Attack (PDF), go to the Commons Lab Reports Collection on Scribd.

via Is Social Media a Cybersecurity Gamechanger? | Commons Lab.

New Tools in Mapping for Disasters and Development

The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and InterAction in partnership with the World Bank Institute (WBI), Sustainable Development Network Information Solutions (SDNIS) and the World Bank Civil Society Team invite you to a half-day workshop on free and open source GIS mapping tools. Please join us at the World Bank, Washington D.C on May 3rd, 2012 to learn more about how NGOs, the World Bank, and other organizations are utilizing open geographic data and mapping tools creating new opportunities for strengthening disaster risk reduction, humanitarian relief and sustainable development.

This unique event will feature hands-on demonstrations and provide training to participants of the free and open tools currently available. In addition, real-world examples of interventions that have successfully incorporated mapping will be presented. Whether you are just starting out using mapping in your work or already have GIS specialists on staff, this is an opportunity to discuss key trends, best practices and lessons learned. Presenters will showcase case studies of mapping tools and technologies, introduce some of the most popular geo tools, discuss free sources of open geo data, and assist project managers and implementers to incorporate these innovations into their work.

The video of the event will be posted soon to GFDRR Innovation Series Workshop – New Tools in Mapping for Disasters and Development | GFDRR.

Is there a mapping drone in your future?

Matt Ball, V1 Magazine, March 2012, Vol 6, Issue 12

….With the passing of a recent bill in the United States that calls for the Federal Aviation Administration to integrate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the national airspace system by 2015, the widespread use of drones is imminent. Industry advocacy groups have long been clamoring for such language, and with the technology proliferating, it has just been a matter of time for the regulations to lift. Small craft under 55 lbs. are prioritized in the bill, with language that allows them to fly within 27 months, and allows for them to be flown in the U.S. Arctic within one year. Under the bill, first responders will be allowed to fly UAS of 4.4 pounds or less within 90 days, prioritizing their assistance in saving lives and increasing public safety. …

For full text of the article, visit Is there a mapping drone in your future?.

Protecting Indigenous Peoples’ Privacy from “Eyes in the Sky”

Wayne Madsen, Lead Scientist, Computer Sciences Corporation, 1994

Abstract: This paper investigates the problems associated with remote sensing from space-based platforms as they relate to the protection of the rights of indigenous peoples around the world. Many nations and international organizations recognize a right of individual privacy. This paper advances the notion of a right to collective privacy, what can best be described as a “communal right of privacy,” especially as it relates to the rights of indigenous people to be free of wanton exploitation from data on their lands and waters that are collected from orbiting surveillance and sensing platforms. Indigenous peoples argue that since they are the direct descendants of the original peoples who settled their lands before conquest by outsiders, they have an “inalienable” right to their territories and the natural resources contained therein (Nagengast, Stavenhagen, and Kearney, 1992, 31). Clearly, the sparse number of international treaties and other regimes that seek to protect the rights of indigenous people to their lands and resources must be strengthened to address privacy protections against wanton snooping from overhead surveillance satellites.

For full text of this article, which is still very relevant today, click here.

Pakistan Mapping Bill To Regulate Amateur Mapping

Stopping unlawful mapping activities: MoD asks government to frame law

by Mushtaq Ghuman, Business Recorder, January 04, 2012

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has suggested to the government to frame a law aimed at stopping unlawful activities related to mapping firms, given that several western countries, including Australia, China, India, Turkey, USA and UK, have enacted supportive laws, official sources told Business Recorder. … According to the MoD, rapid developments in the fields of surveying and mapping, especially computer-aided cartography, availability of satellite imagery and satellite-based ‘Global Position System’ (GPS) has greatly facilitated the art of map making. Resultantly, a number of firms have engaged themselves in mapping activities. …”If mushroom growth of such firms is not checked instantly, it would be a potential threat of high security risk, on the one hand, and decline of accurate mapping within the country, on the other,” sources quoted MoD as writing to the government. …

For full text of the article, visit Stopping unlawful mapping activities: MoD asks government to frame law | Business Recorder.

GIS Enables the Humanitarian Response: A Perspective from the United Nations

By Craig Williams, John Marinos, UN OCHA, Directions Magazine, September 22, 2011

Summary: Managing information during a humanitarian emergency is a crucial part of any relief operation. Geospatial information is central to the United Nations’ efforts, from early warning to emergency preparedness to emergency response. Craig Williams and John Marinos, both with the UN OCHA Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, describe the people and resources needed to manage in a crisis.

For full text of the article, visit: GIS Enables the Humanitarian Response: A Perspective from the United Nations – Directions Magazine.

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