Get flash to fully experience Pearltrees
Credit FEMA During a three day period ( Apr 25th-28th ) of 2011 a storm system of epic proportions spawned 351 confirmed tornadoes across five southern states, killing 338 persons in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee. This was the the third deadliest tornado outbreak in U.S. History. More than a dozen of these twisters reached intensities of 4 or 5 on the Enhanced Fujita [ EF ] scale, which can produce near total devastation.
In Britain it’s 999. In America it’s 911. On a submarine it’s S.O.S. In the air it’s Mayday, mayday. And in space it’s ‘Houston we have a problem’.
Health & Disease Maps
By Vincent Fung GENEVA, 16 December 2011 - Crisis mapping has emerged in the last five years as a dynamic and open way to visualize and report on crisis and disasters. With increasing internet connectivity, mobile phone use, and user-generated content, 'crowdsourcing' is gaining traction by taking advantage of information communication technology (ICT) that allows communities and networks to answer some of the world’s most pressing issues. Held for the first-time ever in Europe, the 3rd International Conference on Crisis Mapping (ICCM) was one example of how new technologies and growing networks of tech-savvy individuals and organizations can help to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters.
My colleague Jeannine Lemaire from the Core Team of the Standby Volunteer Task Force ( SBTF ) recently pointed me to Geofeedia , which may very well be the next generation in crisis mapping technology. So I spent over an hour talking with GeoFeedia’s CEO, Phil Harris, to learn more about the platform and discuss potential applications for humanitarian response. The short version: I’m impressed; not just with the technology itself and potential, but also by Phil’s deep intuition and genuine interest in building a platform that enables others to scale positive social impact. Situational awareness is absolutely key to emergency response, hence the rise of crisis mapping.
The UN Global Pulse report on Big Data for Development ought to be required reading for anyone interested in humanitarian applications of Big Data. The purpose of this post is not to summarize this excellent 50-page document but to relay the most important insights contained therein. In addition, I question the motivation behind the unbalanced commentary on Haiti, which is my only major criticism of this otherwise authoritative report.