CrisisNET is an Ushahidi initiative to build a platform for the world’s crisis data, giving journalists, data scientists, developers, and other makers fast, easy access to critical government, business, humanitarian, and crowdsourced information. By reducing the time it takes to access and use crisis data from hours or days to minutes, CrisisNET removes the barriers to big data, and empowers communities to create solutions for their own problems.
When crises hit, timely, relevant data can help governments, local volunteers and the humanitarian community respond quickly to events on the ground. However, even though modern crises generate unprecedented amounts of data, most of it remains locked away in obscure formats and undocumented APIs — beyond the reach of most media organizations, NGOs and community leaders. Even when the data is accessible, specialists must invest significant time and resources to make it usable. In the meantime the clock is ticking, and lives are lost.
We can do better. To make sure communities, technologists, the media, and other makers are prepared the moment a crisis strikes, we continually collect massive amounts of data of different types and from disparate sources, then organize it, clean it, and restructure it into a single, well-documented format. It used to take days to discover, retrieve, and format crisis data for any application, visualization, or analysis. Now you can do the same using a single line of code (or a few clicks of the mouse) through the CrisisNET API. ·
New Technologies in Emergencies and Conflicts: The Role of Information and Social Networks -- looks at innovation in the use of technology along the timeline of crisis response, from emergency preparedness and alerts to recovery and rebuilding.
It profiles organizations whose work is advancing the frontlines of innovation, offers an overview of international efforts to increase sophistication in the use of IT and social networks during emergencies, and provides recommendations for how governments, aid groups, and international organizations can leverage this innovation to improve community resilience.
We invite you to join a global online discussion about the key themes addressed in this publication. Submit questions for our panel of experts via Twitter (using the tag #Tech4Dev) or the UN Foundation’s Facebook page. ·