Advance Order (15 Jan 15): Digital Humanitarians: How Big Data is Changing the Face of Humanitarian Response

Amazon Page

Amazon Page

This book shows us once again why Patrick Meier is a thought leader in leveraging emerging technologies for social impact. His book captures the enormous possibilities and avoidable pitfalls of big data, social media and artificial intelligence in crisis contexts. Digital humanitarians can be powerful agents for social change but ground-truthing what we see and hear digitally is more important than ever.
—Aleem Walji, Chief Innovation Advisor, Leadership, Learning, and Innovation, World Bank Group

Phi Beta Iota: The book title and description from the publisher are misleading.  This is not a book about Big Data. It is a book about distributed human networks using open source information technologies to achieve situational awareness with a speed and precision that the entire US secret intelligence community (which costs $100 billion a year) cannot match.

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Patrick Meier @ Phi Beta Iota

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Dec 18

Patrick Meier: MicroMappers – Toward Next Generation Humanitarian Technology

Patrick Meier

Patrick Meier

MicroMappers: Towards Next Generation Humanitarian Technology

The MicroMappers platform has come a long way and still has a ways to go. Our vision for MicroMappers is simple: combine human computing (smart crowd-sourcing) with machine computing (artificial intelligence) to filter, fuse and map a variety of different data types such as text, photo, video and satellite/aerial imagery. To do this, we have created a collection of “Clickers” for MicroMappers. Clickers are simply web-based crowdsourcing apps used to make sense of “Big Data”. The “Text Cicker” is used to filter tweets & SMS’s; “Photo Clicker” to filter photos; “Video Clicker” to filter videos and yes the Satellite & Aerial Clickers to filter both satellite and aerial imagery. These are the “Data Clickers”. We also have a collection of “Geo Clickers” that digital volunteers use to geo-tag tweets, photos and videos filtered by the “Data Clickers”. Note that these “Geo Clickers” automatically display the results of the crowdsourced geo-tagging on our Micro-Maps like the one below.

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Dec 14

Patrick Meier: Digital Jedis, Micro-Mappers, UN, Typhoon Ruby

Patrick Meier

Patrick Meier

Calling All Digital Jedis: Support UN Response to Super Typhoon Ruby!

The United Nations has officially activated the Digital Humanitarian Network (DHN) in response to Typhoon Ruby. The DHN serves as the official interface between formal humanitarian organizations and digital volunteer groups from all around the world. These digital volunteers—also known as Digital Jedis— provide humanitarian organizations like the UN and the Red Cross with the “surge” capacity they need to make sense of the “Big Data” that gets generated during disasters. This “Big Data” includes large volumes of social media reports and satellite imagery, for example. And there is a lot of this data being generated right now as a result of Super Typhoon Ruby. To make sense of this flash flood of information, Digital Jedis use crowdsourcing platforms like MicroMappers, which was developed in partnership with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).  Read more.

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Dec 7