Tag Archive | Open Source

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.

 

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Commons Lab and FCC Releases New Report on the National Broadband Map

The National Broadband Map: A Case Study on Open Innovation for National Policy

To download the report and watch the archived video, click here.

Commons Lab Blog, October 2012

The National Broadband Map, designed to provide consumers nationwide reliable information on broadband internet connections, was built incorporating emerging technology.  It protects consumers, holds the government and private sector accountable, and engages the public across the United States.  In a time of budgetary constraint, the Map made a series of remarkable policy innovations that allowed the project to be completed in minimal time and at a reduced cost. The public was engaged before, during, and after the project.  Citizens generated speed testing data.  They provided comments and feed back on improving internet connectivity.  They used a National Broadband Map crowdsource utility to let the FCC know whether the information they posted was accurate.  The data collected is open, freely available to anyone.  The application itself was built using open-source software unchained by licensing fees, enhancing its flexibility and accessibility.  The development process broke from traditional government procurement, and programmers regularly communicated with uses to better understand the needs of the project: this avoided cost overruns and unused features.

Read More…

Live Webcast: The National Broadband Map: A Case Study on Open Innovation for National Policy

Live webcast, Oct 15 at 9:30 AM Eastern:

The National Broadband Map, designed to provide consumers nationwide reliable information on broadband internet connections, was built incorporating emerging technology.  It protects consumers, holds the government and private sector accountable, and engages the public across the United States.  In a time of budgetary constraint, the Map made a series of remarkable policy innovations that allowed the project to be completed in minimal time and at a reduced cost.

The public was engaged before, during, and after the project.  Citizens generated speed testing data.  They provided comments and feed back on improving internet connectivity.  They used a National Broadband Map crowdsource utility to let the FCC know whether the information they posted was accurate.  The data collected is open, freely available to anyone.  The application itself was built using open-source software unchained by licensing fees, enhancing its flexibility and accessibility.  The development process broke from traditional government procurement, and programmers regularly communicated with uses to better understand the needs of the project: this avoided cost overruns and unused features.

The incorporation of geographic information systems allows users to identify broadband internet options in their area, and policy makers to identify geographic gaps in service needing support.  This combination of techniques created a flexible resource that has already guided appropriations through the Connect America Fund. It continues to be applied to other communications challenges such as mobile broadband connectivity.  The National Broadband Map demonstrates that there is room for agencies to innovate and promotes a national conversation on how to improve government outcomes in the 21st century.

The National Broadband Map is a vital example of the benefits available to all when government prioritizes transparency, allows itself to be guided by the public, and directs policy based on robust and reliable data.

To RSVP for the event, watch the live webcast, or download a copy of the report, click here.

Follow on Twitter with #NBMcrowd

International Open Government Data Conference 2012

Data.gov and the World Bank are joining forces to sponsor the second International Open Government Data Conference (IOGDC) to be held on July 10-12, 2012, in Washington D.C. at the World Bank Headquarters at 1818 H Street NW. The IOGDC will gather policymakers, developers, and others with a keen interest in open government data to share lessons learned, stimulate new ideas, and demonstrate the power of democratizing data.

The IOGDC will bring together the world’s foremost experts on open government data. From policy to technology, IOGDC promises to be filled with thoughtful, dynamic discussion around the historic opportunity presented by open government data to foster collaboration, transparency, and interactive public participation. There is no cost to attend, but preregistration is required.

The full agenda is at: http://www.data.gov/communities/conference and you can download a PDF version. The event will be web streamed live online at http://bit.ly/IOGDC-Live. You can follow and tweet about the event using the hashtag #IOGDC – there will also be daily recap featured on the World Bank Open Data Blog.

Tech@State: Data Visualization

The next Tech@State, scheduled for Sept 23-24, will feature new innovative and fascinating data visualization techniques. The event will also be streamed live on the Internet.

Agenda for Data Visualization

DAY 1:

8:00 AM – Doors Open

8:50 – 9:00 AM – Introduction, Suzanne Hall – Senior Advisor for Innovation, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

9:00 – 9:15 AM – Welcome, Dr Kerri-Ann Jones, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs

9:15 – 10:15 AM – Keynote Address – ‘Policy and Technology’ Edward Tufte

10:15 – 10:30 AM – Coffee Break

10:30 – 11:25 AM – Panel on ‘Development Challenge: Open Data to Making Sense of Data’

11:25 AM – 12:20 PM – Panel on ‘Latest Trends in Data Visualization’

12:20 – 12:30 PM – Showing of ‘Connected’ Trailer & Declaration of Interdependence Project

12:30 – 1:30 PM – Lunch

— Afternoon Breakouts —

1:30 – 3:00 PM

Session A

1.  Supporting Disaster Response and Coordination – Panelists Bios & Photos

2.  Visualizations for Aid Transparency and Management – Panelists Bios & Photos

3.  Best Practices for Visualization Interoperability – Panelist Bios & Photos

4.  State Department and USAID Data Visualization Projects – Panelist Bios & Photos

3:00 – 3:30 PM – Coffee Break

3:30 – 5:00 PM

Session B

1.  Using Climate and Health Data to Monitor Food Insecure Areas – Panelist Bios & Photos

2.  Mobile Technology and New Media:  Trends and Opportunities – Panelist Bios & Photos

3.  Turning Information into Insight – Panelist Bios & Photos

4.  New Ways to Visualize Development Data – Panelist Bios & Photos

 

 

Crowdsourcing GEOINT

Posted by Anthony Quartararo, Location Leverage,  Sep 06, 2011

There has been a growing discussion in the GEOINT community in recent years about crowdsourced information and what, if anything, should (could) be done with that information. The discussion is both ongoing, evolving and at times, very robust within certain components of the GEOINT community led by NGA. …

For full text of the article, visit Crowdsourcing GEOINT.

Open Source Licensing: Risk and Opportunity

By Dr. Ignacio Guerrero, Directions Magazine, July 21, 2011

Summary: This two-part article about open source software looks at software licenses, risks related to intellectual property and governance. In part one, author Ignacio Guerrero, IT consultant and former software director at Intergraph and Rolta, examines software licenses and their impact and risk to intellectual property. Part two will look at the elements of open source governance and risk management, and will be published in mid August.

http://www.directionsmag.com/articles/open-source-licensing-risk-and-opportunity-part-one/190454

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