CrisisWire is a “self-aggregating website that pulls information on any disaster around the US and displays it on one page.” The project seeks to get information into the hands of the people that need it most.
From Nate Ritter:
During a disaster people spend valuable time searching the internet and waiting for the media to report on their city, their neighborhood, their street. While main stream media serves a vital role during disasters, it is impossible to update the population on everything that is happening during a crisis. There usually isn’t enough time or resources. CrisisWire not only uses the traditional media outlets’ valuable information but will also utilize citizen journalist and google maps to track the disaster. YouTube.com (videos), Flickr.com (photos) and a whole host of other types of published media will also soon be integrated.
Future iterations of CrisisWire will include text messages to reach disaster-affected communities who have lost their electricity, Internet access, or who have been displaced from their home. The developers of CrisisWire hope that the platform will “change the way people respond and learn about disasters.” The team just set up a page on the fires in Santa Barabara, which will be a good “on-site” test for CrisisWire. At the moment, only one contributor appears to be populating the dynamic map.
As always, my interest in such platforms (including Ushahidi, Humanitarian SensorWeb, etc)., is their:
- Viability in conflict zones and places with minimal communications infrastructure;
- Link to local, decentralized early response;
- Actual impact on the ground.