In 2010, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development HUD charted new territory in an effort to develop a national database of standardized parcel-level property data collected directly from the most authoritative sources: local counties. HUD contracted with Abt Associates Inc. and their subcontractors, Fairview Industries and Smart Data Strategies, to embark on an exploratory project for assembling local assessor data, including key attributes such as property address, assessed value, land use, sales price, and sales history, for 127 targeted counties. The primary tasks of the project included identifying the appropriate data sources in each community, assembling the data and metadata, and standardizing the data in a common format to be accessible for HUD research efforts and for possibly aggregating data to higher levels of geography for public dissemination.
To download a PDF copy of the report, visit The Feasibility of Developing a National Parcel Database: County Data Records Project Final Report | HUD USER.
PBS, May 13, 2011
There are now 6.8 billion people on the planet. And about 5 billion cell phones. This extraordinary ability to connect has turned a modern convenience into a lifeline through a system called crisis mapping. It first gained prominence after the earthquake in Haiti, when people used their cell phones to send text messages to a centralized response team. Since then, crisis mapping has been used to help victims in emergency zones following the tornadoes in the Midwest, the earthquake in Japan and the unrest in the Middle East. Today, there are hundreds of volunteers in more than 50 countries creating maps of crises around the world, using a system that incorporates the lessons learned in Haiti. Alison Stewart reports on this worldwide network of volunteers – regular people — using a breakthrough technology to help others.
For link to video, visit Video: Crisis mappers: Mobile technology helps disaster victims worldwide | Need to Know.
by IRIN news, a service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, May 12, 2011
NAIROBI, 12 May 2011 (IRIN) – Soon after the Libyan crisis broke, decision-makers and humanitarian workers faced a critical challenge: lack of information about events inside the country. Within hours, Andrej Verity, information management officer at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Geneva, called a meeting with volunteer-based and/or technically focused groups. OCHA activated the Standby task force, comprising more than 150 volunteers skilled in online crisis mapping. The idea was to map out social and traditional media reports from within Libya. That led to the creation of LibyaCrisisMap.net. …