“If all You Have is a Hammer…” — How Useful is Humanitarian Crowdsourcing?

  1. Increased availability and utility of spatial data;
  2. Rapid growth of communication infrastructure, particularly mobile telephony; and
  3. Convergence of networks based on that infrastructure on Internet access.
  • Material published on the web or received via email, such as UN sitreps, media reports, and blog updates, and
  • Messages sent in by the public via the 4636 SMS shortcode established during the emergency.
  • One of the claims made by the Ushahidi team is that its work should be considered an additional datastream for aid workers. However, the first datastream is simply duplicating information that aid workers are already likely to receive.
  • The 4636 messages were a novel datastream, but also the outcome of specific conditions which may not hold in places other than Haiti. The fact that there is a shortcode does not guarantee results, as can be seen in the virtually empty Pakistan Ushahidi deployment.

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I live in the city because I got tired of living up the mountain.

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Paul Currion

Paul Currion

I live in the city because I got tired of living up the mountain.