Patrick Meier: Twitter Dashboard & Media Analysis for Crisis Response

Patrick Meier

CrisisTracker: Collaborative Social Media Analysis For Disaster Response

I just had the pleasure of speaking with my new colleague Jakob Rogstadius from Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute (Madeira-TTI). Jakob is working on CrisisTracker, a very interesting platform designed to facilitate collaborative social media analysis for disaster response. The rationale for CrisisTracker is the same one behind Ushahidi’s SwiftRiver project and could be hugely helpful for crisis mapping projects carried out by the Standby Volunteer Task Force (SBTF).

Read post see screen shots.

Towards a Twitter Dashboard for the Humanitarian Cluster System

One of the principal Research and Development (R&D) projects I’m spearheading with colleagues at the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) has been getting a great response from several key contacts at the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). In fact, their input has been instrumental in laying the foundations for our early R&D efforts. I therefore highlighted the initiative during my recent talk at the UN’s ECOSOC panel in New York, which was moderated by OCHA Under-Secretary General Valerie Amos. The response there was also very positive. So what’s the idea? To develop the foundations for a Twitter Dashboard for the Humanitarian Cluster System.

Read post see screen shots.

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Jul 30

Live Crisis Mapping: Routing Around Old Mindsets

Click for Live Map with Substance Links

OCHA, UNOSAT and NetHope have been collaborating with the Volunteer Technical Community (VTC) specifically CrisisMappers, Crisis Commons, Open Street Map, and the Google Crisis Response Team over the past week.

The CrisisMappers Standby Task Force has been undertaking a mapping of social media, news reports and official situation reports from within Libya and along the borders at the request of OCHA. The Task Force is also aiding in the collection and mapping of 3W information for the response. UNOSAT is kindly hosting the Common Operational Datasets to be used during the emergency. Interaction with these groups is being coordinated by OCHA’s Information Services Section.

The public version of this map does not include personal identifiers and does not include descriptions for the reports mapped. This restriction is for security reasons. All information included on this map is derived from information that is already publicly available online (see Sources tab).

Click for Live Map with Substance Links

In the midst of this transition in Libya, one of the most devastating earthquakes in centuries hit northern Japan, causing one of the most destructive tsunamis in recent memory. Just hours after the earthquake, a member of Japan’s OpenStreetMap community launched a dedicated Crisis Map for the mega-disaster. A few hours later, Japanese students at The Fletcher School (which is where the Ushahidi-Haiti Crisis Map was launched) got in touch with the Tokyo-based OpenStreetMap team to provide round-the-clock crisis mapping support.

Over 4,000 reports have been mapped in just 6 days. That’s an astounding figure. Put differently, that’s over 600 reports per day, or one report almost every two minutes for 24 hours straight over 6 days. What’s important about the Japan Crisis Map is that the core operations are being run directly from Tokyo and the team there is continuing to scale it’s operations. It’s very telling that the Tokyo team did not require any support from the Standby Volunteer Task Force. They’re doing an excellent job in the midst of the biggest disaster they’ve ever faced. I’m just amazed.

Tip of the Hat to Patrick Meier and Team at iRevolution.

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Mar 17

CrisisWatch N°91, 1 March 2011

CrisisWatch N°91, 1 March 2011 (pdf)

Anti-government protests also took place in Oman and Djibouti.

In Afghanistan, the standoff continued between President Hamid Karzai and the opposition over the flawed September parliamentary election. A controversial special tribunal set up by Karzai – which the opposition condemns as unconstitutional – has started recounting votes in several provinces. With concerns growing over renewed tension if the tribunal reverses results, CrisisWatch identifies Afghanistan as a conflict risk alert for March. The political crisis came amid an upsurge of insurgent violence across the country.

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Mar 2

Monthly CrisisWatch Report N°90, 1 February 2011

CrisisWatch N°90, 1 February 2011

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Historic events in the Arab world gripped the world’s attention in January. In Tunisia weeks of escalating riots and demonstrations over dire economic conditions, corruption and government repression culminated in the ouster of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali on 14 January. He was replaced by an interim government which announced the country’s first free elections since independence.

Download the full issue of CrisisWatch N°90

The direction of Tunisia’s transition, and its significance for the region, are not yet clear. But, assuming a successful transition, this could mark the first genuine popular revolt leading to a democratic government in the Arab world.

Inspired by the Tunisian uprising yet fuelled by their own long-standing grievances, hundreds of thousands took to the streets across Egypt towards the end of the month, protesting against authoritarian rule and poor living standards, and calling for President Hosni Mubarak to step down. Over 135 people were killed and more than 2,000 injured during the initial police response. The army was deployed at the end of the month to curb increasing chaos and looting, but vowed not to use force against the protesters.

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Feb 1