July 21, 2010

New Paper: Volunteered Geographic Information and the Haitian Earthquake

Our paper on the use of volunteered geographic information in response to the Haitian earthquake, co-authored with Sean Gorman of FortiusOne, has just been published in World Medical and Health Policy.

Be warned. This is an educational moment. You might learn something. After all it can't be all fun and correlations. The abstract and links to the paper are below.

Volunteered Geographic Information and Crowdsourcing Disaster Relief: A Case Study of the Haitian Earthquake
by Matthew Zook, Mark Graham, Taylor Shelton and Sean Gorman
World Medical & Health Policy Vol. 2: Iss. 2, Article 2.
Available at: http://www.psocommons.org/wmhp/vol2/iss2/art2
This paper outlines the ways in which information technologies (ITs) were used in the Haiti relief effort, especially with respect to web-based mapping services. Although there were numerous ways in which this took place, this paper focuses on four in particular: CrisisCamp Haiti, OpenStreetMap, Ushahidi, and GeoCommons. This analysis demonstrates that ITs were a key means through which individuals could make a tangible difference in the work of relief and aid agencies without actually being physically present in Haiti. While not without problems, this effort nevertheless represents a remarkable example of the power and crowdsourced online mapping and the potential for new avenues of interaction between physically distant places that vary tremendously.
Or, if you don't have institutional access, you can find our paper here.

Also two Floatingsheep-style maps before and after the earthquake are below (and are in the paper). By the way, Haiti is on the western portion of the island of Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic is on the eastern side.

Cyberscape Before the Earthquake

Cyberscape After the Earthquake

1 comment:

  1. Check this visual depiction of Moods across the US based on Twitter activity. Sorry nothing to do with Haiti, but figured it fell well within the geek factor of info mapping and you guys might like it.



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