Map it, Make it, Hack it


Published on

Presented by Heather Leson @ Public Safety Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and the University of Toronto
Conference on Social Media for Emergency Management and Crisis Communications, held at the University of Toronto in downtown Toronto, March 29, 2012.

Published in: Technology, Business, Travel
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Ushahidi is a global free open source software provider. We create tools for information collection, visualization and interactive mapping. Our team is committed to support the communities of people around the world. This overview will not just discuss Ushahidi, but also give an overview of some of the other digital response communities. Thanks to Patrice Cloutier for inviting me to share these stories. \n
  • We are all sensors. We emit data in all that we do. Think of that person in the airport. What data are they transmitting about the situation? Are they using their phone?\n\nWe have knowledge and information at our fingertips. We have to Rethink how the Internet and devices like sensors connect us. Our humanity and digital collaboration are colliding. Outline details on the water hackathon to connect citizen data, scientists, maps and sensors to solve wicked problems (Jon Kolko, Wicked Problems (book)) Download -\n\nWhat if we are connected to the sensors to collaborate and make changes.\n(photo taken by Heather Leson)\n
  • 30 cities, 1000s of people, twice a year. In Canada so far - Rhok Toronto (3 main events) Rhok Mtl (1) as well the RHOK Water Hackathon in October 2011. \n
  • Geeks without Bounds is a growing technical community that looks to partner with Humanitarian organizations. One major goal of their work is to take the best projects from RHoK and elsewhere, supports and incubates. \n
  • HOT-OSM is the future of community mapping. They build capacity and train resilience. Their work is open source, collaborative mapping. \n
  • What is a digital volunteer? Why is that borderless and important? = 750 volunteers around the world. Waiting for you to ask for help. They map it, change it. They can do it 24 hours, in shifts, skilled and coordinated. They learn from each event. \nThis is Melissa Elliot, Mom, Canadian, Mapper. She is part of the core team of the Standby Task Force and leads the Reports Team. The group has built a field of out volunteering. They have open source documentation on how to be a crowdsourced mapping project. Anyone can use it for their projects. Melissa is a busy professional and mom. She is also one of the world leaders in changing how information is collected and used during emergencies. And, She is part of many who do so from the comfort of her home. Laptop, knowledge and a desire to be part of the journey. \n\nSBTF on the process of mapping (complex to do, needs solid outreach\nWe are teaching to hack the map. Meaning: first it is teaching the prototype potential. Wrapping your head around your position to use these tools to engage and change yourself and your world are just at the surface. When they mapped in Libya, they were human sensors sifting through the barrage of information\n\n
  • Use all the Communication channels.\n\nI am fascinated with all how all the parts fit together. How do we communicate? How should we? This is a training device is in the Nairobi Railway Museum ( to teach railway conductors in Kenya. All the parts move together. This is how information should flow. Do you have all the missing pieces? What do you do with the large influx of information. Using all the communication channels we can potentially improve situational awareness during an emergency. (Photo taken by Heather Leson, Nairobi, KE)\n
  • What is a map? Ushahidi is information collection, visualization and interactive mapping software. We’re a non-profit. This is one of many maps that people use to tell visual stories and collaborate. It has been used for election monitoring, crisis and emergency response, civil society and city building. what is it made of? Map, types of info, types of communication channels, mission/topic, and the key to action (people and outreach) Reports can come from all the communication channels (sms, web form, mobile apps, twitter, facebook, analog device (manual) and email.) Anyone can do it. But, the technology is one part. The rest is the mission, the plan and the outreach. \n\nEach red dot is a report. Each report is assigned a category, geolocated, given a description and added to the map. The heavy lifting is in the analysis of the data. The map is one part of the equation. \n\n\n
  • On March 2nd, UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) requested the Stand-By Task Force be activated in Libya. The SBTF is training people around the world to prepare. And, they are building on each exercise, activation and volunteer deployment. And, a blog post by AndrejVerity on how SBTF changed OCHA -\n\n\n
  • Lessons in partnerships and community. At 8:30 EST Feb. 22nd, I saw a tweet from a friend. I knew at that very instant that we would all be logging online, dividing into groups and mapping. We had contacts in NZ but not in Christchurch. It started with three maps and a few hundred people. Existing online communities began to share and cross-train. I contacted the Standby Task Force for help. How to train volunteers overnight? How to divide up the tasks? I’ve never been to NZ. But, the global community of crisismappers is small. We know each other and are just the sort of mad men and women to stay up all night trying. The Christchurch and Wellington teams took over the map. They connected with volunteers. These things can happen concurrently to official resources. They searched for important helpful items (petrol, open pharmacies). What do you see? what do you need?\n
  • What can we learn from the Tohoku? (Japan Earthquake and Tsunami)\n\nDirector of OpenStreetMap Foundation Japan sent this message to members. They had 100s of Japanese volunteers. Hal Seki was one of the core leaders for this project. Plus a global support OSM and other communities. Provide and aggregate disaster information by formatting them using geolocation data. Results - over 12, 000 reports ,1 million page views in the first month, 500, 000 unique visitors, Most viewed from Sendai. The OSM Japan team already had an instance of Ushahidi setup. This made it possible to prepare beyond the technology. Deploy quickly, get feedback. Needs of disaster area is always changing. Late output will miss the opportunity.\nA large majority of these reports came via twitter. Phone networks were down. Twitter was not. \n\n\n
  • Using all the communication channels, new methods of information collection and collaborating with the various communities is the key to new crisis/emergency response. Citizen mapping and making will continue. Emergency managers should consider this human sensor data just as critical as a phone call. And, build collaboration with digital communities. \n
  • Aerial Mapping by Public Lab. Union Square, NYC. April 24, 2012.\n
  • Map it, Make it, Hack it

    1. Map it, Make it, Hack it Heather Leson Digital Media for Emergency Management @heatherleson and Crisis Thursday, March 29, 2012
    2. Digitalvolunteers: StandbyTaskForce
    3. All communication channels on the journey
    4. LIBYA CRISISThe Libya Crisis Map deployed by request of UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
    5. Many mappers
    6. thank you@heatherleson