Tag Archive | #Crisismappers

How To Make Crowdsourcing Disaster Relief Work Better

by Jennifer Chan, US News and World Report, Op-Eds, November 23, 2012

Dr. Jennifer Chan, a Public Voices fellow at the OpEd Project, is the director of Global Emergency Medicine in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and an associate faculty member of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.

In the wake of Sandy’s destruction, digital volunteers mobilized again. From their homes and offices, using iPads and laptops, hundreds of volunteers crowd-sourced information and took on microtasks to help FEMA and other agencies process large swaths of information and speed humanitarian response.

For instance, in the first 48 hours after the hurricane, 381 aerial photos collected by the Civil Air Patrol were viewed by hundreds of volunteers, with the goal of quickly giving an overview of the extent of storm and flood damage. This project was called the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap MapMill project. In response to a request from FEMA, project developer Schuyler Erle volunteered to launch and lead the project. By mid-afternoon November 2nd, more than 3,000 volunteers had assessed 5,131 images, viewing them more than 12,000 times. Just a week later, more than 24,000 images had been assessed. Each view from a digital volunteer—a mother, a researcher, a friend, a colleague—helped FEMA determine the degree of damage along the eastern seaboard, assessing the condition of buildings, roads, and houses, with the aim of helping the agency in its post-disaster recovery and planning. That’s an amazing effort.

But did it actually help?

For full text of the op-ed, visit How To Make Crowdsourcing Disaster Relief Work Better – US News and World Report.

 

Pakistan Ministry of Defense to Outlaw Civil Mapping

Pakistanis lost without maps

by Murtaza Haider, Dawn.com/DesPardes, November 21, 2012

The Ministry of Defence is about to declare mapping illegal in Pakistan. The federal cabinet, Pakistan’s foremost civilian authority, is willingly giving up a civic task to agencies that report to Pakistan’s Armed Forces.The proposed Land Surveying and Mapping Bill 2012 will entrust all mapping responsibilities in Pakistan to the Survey of Pakistan SoP, which supposedly reports to the Ministry of Defence MoD, but effectively takes its orders and cues from the General Head Quarters. Consider that the Surveyor General of Pakistan is often a serving or retired General, who leads the organisation that is not open to scrutiny by the civilian authorities.

For full text of this article, please visit Pakistanis lost without maps | DAWN.COM.

Nov 30: Brown Bag: International Charter on Space and Natural Disasters

Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz, Director, National Center for Remote Sensing, Air and Space Law, University of Mississippi School of Law and Research Professor of Law, will discuss the Charter on Cooperation to Achieve the Coordinated Use of Space Facilities in the Event of Natural or Technological Disasters (Disasters Charter), which provides for the voluntary sharing of satellite imagery in the event of major disasters. Prof. Gabrynowicz will address the contents, structure, and status of the Charter, and highlight its strengths and weakness with a focus on how it could develop in the future. She also will discuss data access and sharing ideas.

Study questions Twitter’s role in disaster aftermath

by Maria Elena Hurtado, SciDev.net, June 5, 2012

A study has cast doubt on the innovative role that some claim Twitter, the ‘microblogging’ social media tool, can play in generating new information during disasters, although it did find that ‘tweets’ speed up the exchange of existing information. An analysis of tweets sent by people in the United States following the emergency at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant found that most linked to traditional news outlets, such as the New York Times and CNN, for updates. “Since tweeters clearly did not have the expertise [on radiation] nor could they find others on Twitter or in the blogosphere who did, they relied on traditional news media,” study author Andrew Binder, at the department of communication at North Carolina State University, United States, told SciDev.Net. The paper, to be published in the June edition of Environmental Communication, shows changes in the quantity and content of 2,359 tweets from the United States on the nuclear emergency in the two weeks after 11 March 2011, when the disaster was first reported. …

For full text of this news article, visit Study questions Twitter’s role in disaster aftermath – SciDev.Net.

Link to abstract in Environmental Communication
Link to abstract in International Journal of Web Based Communities
Link to paper by Mendoza and colleagues
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