Learning from Earthquakes: First person reports

Crisis Camp New Zealand

March 17, 2011 by
Filed under EERI Team Field Blog, Social Impacts

Over the past two years we have witnessed a surge of online activism as technology volunteers, hackers and geeks donate their time, skills, and expertise to the disaster response cause. Armed with a “digital pick axe” these international volunteers work selflessly to monitor social media, crowdsource data, and develop useful applications for on the ground responders. They coordinate virtually around the clock and interface with official responders to identify data sources that can be mapped, translated, spread sheeted, and made into useful and actionable intelligence.

In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, one such volunteer technical group quickly mobilized across New Zealand and integrated a worldwide effort to capture publicly available data and aggregate it for those directly affected by the disaster. The efforts of CrisisCampNZ, known locally as the website eq.org.nz, concentrated on crowdsourcing tweets, texts, email, web reports, and usahihidi applications on smart phones. They developed publicly available maps that were useful in the first hours after the ground shaking, alleviating the local responders who were addressing local critical issues.


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