CrowdSourcing and Crisis Mapping
Jason Gilbert,June 10, 2011
Back in 2008, during the extremeKenyan Post Election violence andunrest, a small group of bloggers andsoftware developers from across Africagot together to quickly develop a way toutilize existing web technologies to tellthe world of the awful events as theyunfolded, using the power of mobiletechnology and the web to collect, collate and disseminate eyewitness reports.What they came up with, in just three days, was a technology mash-up, basedaround mobile texting, emails and google maps. This was the birth of theUshahidi.com
.Ushahidi being the Swahili for “witness”.
Last week I attended a talk by Eric Hersman, one of the original team. His talk washumbling and inspiring, both from the original teams work to generate the site in2008, and in terms of how the site has evolved into an open source
“crowdsourcing” platform which has since been widely used in many globalcrisis’s from the recent Middle Ea
st revolutions to humanitarian disasters such asthe Haiti and Japanese earthquakes, providing critical information from people onthe ground and helping to guide emergency response teams.