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iRevolution BLOG

iRevolution BLOG
Wish you had a better way to make sense of Twitter during disasters than this? Type in a keyword like #ChileEarthquake in Twitter’s search box above and you’ll see more tweets than you can possibly read in a day let alone keep up with for more than a few minutes. Wish there way were an easy, free and open source solution? Well you’ve come to the right place. My team and I at QCRI are developing the Artificial Intelligence for Disaster Response (AIDR) platform to do just this. Here’s how it works:

Related:  Realtime & crowdsourced mapsCrowdsourcing / Maps / conflicts

Evolution in Live Mapping: The 2012 Egyptian Presidential Elections My doctoral dissertation compared the use of live mapping technology in Egypt and the Sudan during 2010. That year was the first time that Ushahidi was deployed in those two countries. So it is particularly interesting to see the technology used again in both countries in 2012. Sudanese activists are currently using the platform to map #SudanRevolts while Egyptian colleagues have just used the tool to monitor the recent elections in their country. Analyzing the evolution of live mapping technology use in non-permissive environments ought to make for a very interesting piece of research (any takers?).

Detecting Emerging Conflicts with Web Mining and Crisis Mapping My colleague Christopher Ahlberg, CEO of Recorded Future, recently got in touch to share some exciting news. We had discussed our shared interests a while back at Harvard University. It was clear then that his ideas and existing technologies were very closely aligned to those we were pursuing with Ushahidi’s Swift River platform. I’m thrilled that he has been able to accomplish a lot since we last spoke.

Internet & Democracy Blog » Internet & Democracy Digitial Activism Event On February 7th and 8th, the Berkman Center hosted a three day conference entitled “Digitally-Empowered Activists: Getting the Tools to the People Who Need Them” in Istanbul, Turkey. The presentations highlighted efforts by people to use tools, such as video, SMS, and blogging, and focused on ways of communicating these methodologies to activists who can benefit from them. Video Mashups and Activism Aside from video mashup, Gharbia has also created a Tunisian Prison Map, depicting the locations of prisons using Google Earth and including popup widowns for each prison showing video from an interview with a current prisoner, Human Rights Watch, or Medecins Sans Frontiers, or similar commentary. Social Mobile: FrontlineSMS

DeadUshahidi: Neither Dead Right Nor Dead Wrong There’s a new Crowdmap in town called DeadUshahidi. The site argues that “Mapping doesn’t equal change. Using crowdsourcing tech like Ushahidi maps without laying the strategic and programmatic ground work is likely not going to work. And while we think great work has been done with crowdsourced reporting, there is an increasing number of maps that are set up with little thought as to why, who should care, and how the map leads to any changes.” In some ways this project is stating the obvious, but the obvious sometimes needs repeating. As Ushahidi’s former Executive Director Ory Okolloh warned over two years ago: “Don’t get too jazzed up! Syria: Crowdsourcing Satellite Imagery Analysis to Identify Mass Human Rights Violations Update: See this blog post for the latest. Also, our project was just featured on the UK Guardian Blog! What if we crowdsourced satellite imagery analysis of key cities in Syria to identify evidence of mass human rights violations?

Open Innovation success story: Ushahidi Which solution method fits your innovation model? [LEARN MORE] Breakthrough: Crowdsourcing crisis information: Ushahidi is a free piece of software that creates websites to gather news on unfolding crises in remote locations. Surprising Findings: Using Mobile Phones to Predict Population Displacement After Major Disasters Rising concerns over the consequences of mass refugee flows during several crises in the late 1970′s is what prompted the United Nations (UN) to call for the establishment of early warning systems for the first time. “In 1978-79 for example, the United Nations and UNHCR were clearly overwhelmed by and unprepared for the mass influx of Indochinese refugees in South East Asia. The number of boat people washed onto the beaches there seriously challenged UNHCR’s capability to cope.

The Syrian War Crowdsourcing Experiment Think of it as a DIY intelligence agency: An ambitious collaborative project is inviting volunteers to help crowdsource human rights intelligence from the Syrian rebellion. The joint project, organized by the Standby Task Force and Amnesty International USA's (AIUSA) Science for Human Rights Program, is distributing up-to-date satellite imagery to volunteers who will search for signs of troop movements, demonstrations, and military actions. Image analysis for the project began in early September. Communicating Global Activism - Information, Communication & Society Many observers doubt the capacity of digital media to change the political game. The rise of a transnational activism that is aimed beyond states and directly at corporations, trade and development regimes offers a fruitful area for understanding how communication practices can help create a new politics. The Internet is implicated in the new global activism far beyond merely reducing the costs of communication, or transcending the geographical and temporal barriers associated with other communication media. Various uses of the Internet and digital media facilitate the loosely structured networks, the weak identity ties, and the patterns of issue and demonstration organizing that define a new global protest politics.