Volunteered Geographic Information and Crowdsourcing Disaster Relief: A Case Study of the Haitian Earthquake4
Type of work: Article (academic)
Categories:Development | Social Media & Social Software
Tags:haiti, earthquake, dataviz, crowdsourcing
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.