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Case #1804

Web-based tools for emergency disaster response


Hundreds of web technicians developed new web-based tools and services to help the relief effort. Volunteers in the US built and refined software for tracking missing people, mapping the disaster areas and enabling urgent text messaging.

The database, which anyone can update, was online less than 24 hours after the earthquake struck. Many agencies put the systems to use and two days later, Google, the US search engine giant, created PersonFinder, which consolidated all the information from various person-finding sites.

Another volunteer project forged in the earthquake's aftermath was a mobile phone text-messaging system that helps relief groups dispatch rescuers, food and water.

The information, updated by everything from feeds on the popular microblogging site, Twitter, to witness reports, has helped aid workers get food, water and medicine to where it is needed most.


Location: Haiti
Action: Building, Community Organizing, Networking, Restoration
Setting: Third World
Extent of Action: National
Issues: Other
Year(s): 2010
Outcome successful
Source: Al Jazeera, Jan 20, 2010 (http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2010/01/20101206836217899.html)


Prepared By: alb, 9/10
Rating: 0
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