Crisis Mapping

Monday, March 28, 2011

There is a new article on Technology Review featuring a "reporting platform" known as Ushahidi that makes it much easier to get general information about an area out, and has been extremely effective in doing so for the Libyan crisis.

Any cellphone or device connected to the Internet can add to the content on Ushahidi and instantly update the situation for anyone viewing it. Now they are updating the system to make it even easier to post articles, photos and other kinds of content along with each update.

An example of what this technology can do is map every area people have come into contact with flooding (like recently happened in the UK). In a crisis like Libya or the Japanese tsunami, problem areas and places to avoid are easily mapped out and anyone can check to see where those are with Internet access or a phone.

A journalist using this technology should be able to quickly analyze situations on even national scales and then act on them much faster than by using traditional means. Hopefully the time that is saved with Ushahidi or things like it would allow a journalist to get that information out there in a more complete version for the populace to read.

Photo Credit: Erik Hershman via Creative Commons


KatieSchober March 29, 2011 at 11:17 AM  

I heard about this on NPR the other day and was amazed! There is so much information being shared via Ushahidi right now in Japan-- people are using the platform to circulate pictures of missing loved ones, and ordinary citizens are opening up their homes to people in need. It's amazing the way that our true humanity emerges in such times of crisis as Japan is experiencing.

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