Internet Geographer

Blog

New paper published: Volunteered Geographic Information and Crowdsourcing Disaster Relief

A paper that I wrote a few months ago (with Matthew Zook, Taylor Shelton and Sean Gorman) has just been published in World Medical and Health Policy. The abstract is below, or you can also download the full article here.

This paper outlines the ways in which information technologies (ITs) were used in the Haiti relief effort, especially with respect to web-based mapping services. Although there were numerous ways in which this took place, this paper focuses on four in particular: CrisisCamp Haiti, OpenStreetMap, Ushahidi, and GeoCommons. This analysis demonstrates that ITs were a key means through which individuals could make a tangible difference in the work of relief and aid agencies without actually being physically present in Haiti. While not without problems, this effort nevertheless represents a remarkable example of the power and crowdsourced online mapping and the potential for new avenues of interaction between physically distant places that vary tremendously.