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FieldEx 2011 Wrap-up

At 9 am this morning, we arrived in Fletcher to begin the Field Ex Crisis simulation. With limited knowledge of the background situation in Comootros, including political unrest, ethnic tensions and NGOs on the ground, we brainstormed a structure to organize the workflow for our crisis mapping team. We divided into 3 teams to assess and map data: Administration maintained phone contact with trusted sources on the ground as well as the public information officer who interfaced with the media. Logistics gathered and categorized SMS data, while maintaining and monitoring blog and twitter posts. Operations mapped raw data on Crowdmap to share with individuals to aid in NGO and UN efforts on the ground. The process of mapping and verifying reports is an intense one, as reports … Read entire article »

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FieldEx 2011

We are now an hour and a half into the simulation.  We have divided into two main divisions: a Logistics Section, which is collecting information from the field primarily via Frontline SMS, and an Operations Section which is working to input collected data to a crowdmap.  Additionally, and Administration Section is maintaining close communications with class representatives on the field team.  We are making use of twitter and blogging to update the public and to publicize our Frontline SMS number. Follow our work at: … Read entire article »

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Group Dynamics, Volunteer Management, and Crisis Mapping

Moroccan Red Crescent The inherent collaborative nature of crisis mapping and its reliance on a network of both professional and civilian workers has both its benefits and its challenges.  From our practical experiences working on class assignments and our crisis simulation, as well as from accounts drawn from the blogs of more established crisis mappers, we have quickly become familiar with the advantages, as well as the drawbacks, of a multi-member response team. One advantage of the cooperative nature of crisis mapping is the efficiency that results from the ability to mobilize a mass of volunteers, sometimes numbering in the tens of thousands, who can respond to crises immediately.  In his blog post, Patrick Meier describes this massive force: …in the wake of the Haiti earthquake…more than a thousand Creole-speaking volunteers in no … Read entire article »

Filed under: Crisis Mapping, Disaster Management, Headline

So why a crisis mapping class?

Our second crisis mapping class meets tomorrow and I have spent the weekend reading blog posts, answering emails, and watching the students begin to join the wider crisis mapping community. I don’t know if every professor has the luxury that Jennifer and I are experiencing through teaching this class, and that is genuine excitement. In their blog posts and questions, it’s clear that each student is excited about the potential of this field for their own reasons; or they are excited about learning how to realize the potential of this field. I don’t know if the professors of Abstract Algebra get the same reception. I’m going to guess probably not. Although I’m sure you can read through the course documents and get a feel for the course, I want to spend a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Crisis Mapping, Headline