Author Archives: Patrick

How the UN Used Social Media in Response to Typhoon Pablo (Updated)

Cross-posted from iRevolution. Our mission as digital humanitarians was to deliver a detailed dataset of pictures and videos (posted on Twitter) which depict damage and flooding following the Typhoon. An overview of this digital response is available here. The task of our United Nations colleagues at the Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), was to rapidly [...]
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Summary: Digital Disaster Response to Philippine Typhoon

Cross-posted from iRevolution The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) activated the Digital Humanitarian Network (DHN) on December 5th at 3pm Geneva time (9am New York). The activation request? To collect all relevant tweets about Typhoon Pablo posted on December 4th and 5th; identify pictures and videos of damage/flooding shared in [...]
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Video: The in Action

I was recently invited to give a 5-minute talk on the SBTF in action. This was for the Frontiers in Development conference organized by USAID just a few weeks ago. They have just made the video public. In this presentation, I describe the SBTF’s recent projects in Libya and Somalia, and with USAID’s Credit Authority [...]
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Lessons learned from USAID’s first crowdsourced project

[Guest post by Timo Luege - I’m passionate about information, communication and how they can be used to make the world a better place. My two main areas of expertise are: • Communication through digital media • Media relations during disasters Over the last thirteen years I have worked for the Red Cross Red Crescent [...]
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Mapsters Partner with Geofeedia to Improve Media Monitoring Efforts

Since the Standby Volunteer Task Force (SBTF) has demonstrated that digital volunteers can play an instrumental role in supporting humanitarian, human rights, development and media organizations. SBTF volunteers—or Mapsters we call ourselves—use purely manual methods to create the many live maps requested by activating organizations. This manual approach made sense since we were drafting [...]
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SBTF/USAID - A Partnership - The Future of Digital Volunteers?

Kirk Morris, Melissa Elliott, Jeannine Lemaire - SBTF “On Friday, June 1st, USAID’s GeoCenter and Development Credit Authority (DCA) launched the Agency’s first-ever crowdsourcing initiative to pinpoint the location of USAID DCA loan data. Forty people came to USAID’s Innovation Lab throughout the day to crowdsource live. Online volunteers, working from Canada to the United [...]
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A Master’s Thesis on the Motivations Behind the SBTF

[Guest blog post by Evelyn Hichens, an SBTF volunteer who has just completed her Geography Msci course at the University Of Birmingham, UK. For her fourth year dissertation she decided to focus on quantifying the motivations behind the volunteers of Standby Taskforce. A powerpoint presentation of her MA thesis is available here.] Hey Mapsters, As [...]
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Harvard Humanitarian Initiative - (HSI) Simulation Exercise - An Appreciation

Our partners (HSI) had the tough work mucking about in the cold and wet weather. Our resulting map… Thank you “This past April 27-29 over 100 HSI program participants came together in a state forest just north of Boston, Massachusetts to participate in a simulation exercise designed to replicate a complex humanitarian crisis. For two [...]
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SBTF & USAID Partnership on Poverty Alleviation and Smarter Development

The Standby Volunteer Task Force (SBTF) continues to break new ground in. This time around we’re partnering with colleagues at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) who recognize, like we do, that equitable and sustainable economic growth is instrumental for countering extreme poverty across the globe. Being one of the biggest development organizations [...]
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Resources for Online Anonymity, Encryption, and Privacy

Reposted from the Herdict Blog of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society Please, remember security is never perfect, but we can make best effort and always be informed. Resources for Online Anonymity, Encryption, and Privacy By Alex Meriwether | May 7th |  There are many tools available to help Internet users reach the [...]
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