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How the State Department Plans to Make Humanitarian Crowdmapping Mainstream

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, April 3 2014

Progress on the mapping of Nimule, South Sudan

The U.S. Department of State has more than 859,000 Twitter followers and more than 518,000 likes on Facebook, and they want to mobilize those million plus followers for the benefit of humanitarian causes around the world.

In early March the State Department launched MapGive, a campaign to educate the masses about crowdmapping: why it is important and how one can help. MapGive, a collaboration between the Humanitarian Information Unit (HIU) and the Office of Innovative Engagement (OIE), is one of several projects in the third round of the Presidential Innovation Fellows program designed to harness the power of crowdsourcing to improve government.

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WeGov

Digital Humanitarian Response to Super-Typhoon Haiyan

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, November 11 2013

Survivors among the wreckage after Super-typhoon Haiyan (Flickr/EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection)

A devastating super-typhoon with gusts of 200-m.p.h. winds ravaged huge swaths of the Philippines this weekend. Super-typhoon Haiyan (known as Yolanda in the Philippines) is reported to be the strongest recorded storm to ever make landfall. Although the official death toll is now at 1,774, thousands are still missing and a Filipino Presidential spokesman has said they are praying it does not rise about 10,000. Humanitarian organizations have already begun the daunting task of bringing relief to the nearly 10 million people affected by the super storm. In addition to the emergency aid and military personnel flooding into the country, a team of digital humanitarians are also on the job. Patrick Meier reports on his blog iRevolution that for the first time humanitarian response to Typhoon Haiyan makes full use of both human computing and machine computing to understand the big data in the aftermath of disaster.

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First POST: Seeking Refuge

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, November 8 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers:: The UN is seeking digital humanitarians to help with Typhoon Yolanda crisis tweets; Germans are divided on whether to offer Edward Snowden asylum; How .nyc could be a new piece of civic architecture; and much, much more. Read More