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date: 30 June 2022

Crisis Mapping and Crowdsourcing in Complex Emergencieslocked

Crisis Mapping and Crowdsourcing in Complex Emergencieslocked

  • Jen Ziemke, Jen ZiemkeDepartment of Political Science, John Carroll University
  • Buddhika JayamahaBuddhika JayamahaDepartment of Military and Strategic Studies, United States Air Force Academy
  •  and Molly M. JahnMolly M. JahnJahn Research Group, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Summary

Crisis mappers secure satellite imagery, photos, video, event data, incident data, and other documentary evidence to create an operational picture of a disaster in order to facilitate improved humanitarian response and assistance in a crisis.

The era of human-powered crisis mapping between 2009 and 2014 was a bootstrapped effort very much a function of the peculiar state of technological development at the time—available but not yet formalized, streamlined, and automated. Humans filled the gap until machine assistance could catch up. These efforts, often mundane (e.g., cut and paste over and over for hours), were more reflective of the state of technology at the time than anything else.

Another precondition that enabled the field to grow is the often taken-for-granted public good provided by the GPS satellites maintained by the U.S. Air Force. Without this service, the project at the time would not have emerged where and when it did.

The future will be shaped as a result of improvements in automated forms of data collection; improved machine learning techniques to help filter, identify, visualize, and analyze the data; and the proliferation of low-cost drones and other forms of sensors, to name a few.

Subjects

  • Contentious Politics and Political Violence
  • Governance/Political Change
  • World Politics

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