Redesigning International Disaster Reponse, Part 4: Current Innovation

Dave Seliger | Core 77 | November 23, 2011

Social Technologies for Disaster Response

Founded in 2008, Ushahidi was created as a website platform to track events in the wake of Kenya's controversial presidential election by geolocating first-hand accounts of violence in Google Maps. Ushahidi made headlines after it was implemented during the Haiti Earthquakes to track emergencies, public health problems and other hazards. The platform represents a shift towards responders relying on on-the-ground, up-to-the-minute, crowd-sourced information.

Similarly, during July's terrorist attacks in Mumbai, residents in the city began circulating a Google Doc called "MumbaiHelp" that contained the "names, addresses, and phone numbers of residents who could offer their houses to stranded commuters." Lastly, the virtual sense of community seen on websites like Facebook and Twitter can be applied to disasters, similar to what was recently seen during the mass protests in Egypt, where protesters organized and communicated via these websites...