Patrick Meier: Using UAVs for Community Mapping & Disaster Risk Reduction — The Haiti Example

Patrick Meier

Patrick Meier

Using UAVs for Community Mapping and Disaster Risk Reduction in Haiti

“What if, to solve our problems, we simply need to rise above them?” CartONG and France’s OpenStreetMap (OSM) community recently teamed up to support OSM Haiti’s disaster risk reduction efforts by deploying a small UAV, “which proved very useful for participatory mapping.” The video documentary below provides an excellent summary of this humanitarian UAV mission which took place just a few weeks ago.

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click on Image to Enlarge

As I noted in this earlier blog post on grassroots UAVs, the use of UAVs at the community level can be viewed as an extension of community and participatory mapping, which is why community engagement is pivotal for humanitarian UAV deployments. In many ways, a micro-UAV can actually bring a community together; can catalyze conversations & participation, which should be taken as more than simply a positive externality. Public Participatory GIS Projects (PPGIS) have long been used as a means to catalyze community conversations and even conflict resolution and mediation. So one should not overlook the positive uses of UAVs as a way to convene a community. Indeed, as CartONG and partners rightly note in the above video documentary, “The UAV is the uniting tool that brings the community together.”

Read full post with additional graphics & photos.

Michael Ostrolenk: Teenager Builds Browser Plug In to Show Where Individual Politicians Get Their Funding

Michael Ostrolenk

Michael Ostrolenk

I just downloaded the GREENHOUSE app for Chrome and it is great. Talk about easy access to highly illuminating data. Well done! I’d encourage everyone to take a look at the app. It is very light and couldn’t be easier to use. As the creator Nick Rubin says, – Some are Red. Some are Blue. All are GREEN. That’ couldn’t be more true.

This is what we mean when we say technology can beat the bureaucracy. Let that sunshine in.

Click here for the article.

Click here for the application.