Posts Tagged crisis mapping

Crisis Mapper – Patrick Meier

Patrick Meier, a Ph.D. candidate at The Fletcher School, recently starred in a video inspired by the work of the Standby Volunteer Task Force (SBTF).

SBTF group includes 1000+ digital humanitarians in more than 80 countries around the world. They are responsible for some of the important live crisis mapping operations that support humanitarian and human rights organizations. Crisis mapping involves monitoring use of information communications in conflict and disaster areas in order to improve response.  SBTF is committed to rapid learning and innovation as well as creative uses of technology due to their dedicated volunteers, Mapsters.

Check out this short video about Meier and SBTF that first aired on National Geographic Television Channel.

For more information visit Meier’s blog here.

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Field Ex Crisis 2011

This semester, the Tufts Experimental College’s course on crisis mapping allowed Jumbos to learn how to utilize web technology to contribute to relief efforts in crisis situations. On Saturday, April 9, students arrived in Fletcher to participate in the Field Ex Crisis simulation, a crisis mapping drill. In the drill, a fictional state coined “Comootros” was in dire need of outside assistance.

The class maintains a blog about their experience learning about crisis mapping. A recent post about the drill reads:

The process of mapping and verifying reports is an intense one, as reports come in faster than teams can approve them. The lightning speed of this crisis bonded our team together through an urgent shared goal. We devised a system to accurately and efficiently move information through our clearly devised workflow as we all kept in constant communication.”

To read more about the crisis mapping course at the Tufts Ex College, see this previous Jumble post.

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Why Crisis Mapping?

In a recent post from the Tufts Experimental College’s Crisis Mapping blog, a German exchange student studying here at Tufts talks about her experience taking a class on crisis mapping. She writes:

During a crisis one often feels helpless in the face of devastation and misery, especially because being far away from the event there is nothing one can do to help, except for sending money. I think crisis mapping is (from what I’ve heard so far) a great tool to make it easier for those in the afflicted areas to help. Also, it seems like a great way to use technology to improve crisis response.

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Tufts Supports Japan

Jumbos from across disciplines and schools are joining in on the relief effort to aid Japan in its recovery from the 8.9-magnitude earthquake that struck the country last Friday.

From selling bags of snacks in the Campus Center and holding a basketball fundraiser event in Lewis Hall to painting a “Support Japan” message on the cannon, Tufts undergrads are coming together for the cause. The Tufts Japanese Culture Club has pledged to raise $5,000 by the end of the semester to benefit the Red Cross relief fund for Japan.

Over at Fletcher, students have also been focused on aggregating crucial aid information through a crisis mapping software program called Ushahidi.

In addition, a recent update on Fletcher’s website promotes a T-shirt fundraiser run by students from Fletcher and other schools in the Boston area:

In response to the devistation in Japan, Japanese students in the greater Boston area, hailing from Fletcher, MIT, Harvard and Boston University have come together in an effort to help the victims of the earthquakes and tsunamis by launching “Action4JapanBoston.”

This new volunteer organization has created a donation campaign which kicks off on Tuesday, March 15 in The Fletcher School’s Hall of Flags. “Action4JapanBoston” T-shirts will be sold for $20 (supplemental donations can be made as well). All proceeds will be transferred to The American Red Cross (and then forwarded on to The Japanese Red Cross Society).

Shirts will be on sale in the Hall of Flags on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (from 10am-4pm) and on Friday (from 10am-1pm). Shirts will be delivered after the spring break concludes.

Your donations will help bring a measure of comfort to those who have lost nearly everything.

Tisch College is also compiling a list of ways you can help.

To read more about crisis mapping at Tufts, see this previous Jumble post.

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Tufts Crisis Mapping Class

Crisis mapping, an emerging interdisciplinary field that uses technology to aid in the response to humanitarian emergencies, is being taught this semester through the Ex College at Tufts. The course description reads:

This course aims to teach students about the field and equip them with the skills to use the most important crisis mapping tools. It will also survey, around the world, how crisis mapping technologies are being applied to an increasingly wide range of scenarios, including the monitoring of elections and human rights abuses, citizen journalist mobilization, conflict tracking, and aid evaluation.

Finally, students will become part of a growing global network of skilled ‘crisis mappers.’

Last spring, students from The Fletcher School gathered on the Tufts campus to participate in a crowd-sourcing disaster response program that provided real-time data for the relief effort in Haiti following the devastating effects of the earthquake that struck the country about one year ago.

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