Tag Archives: Videos

Live: Crowdsourced Crisis Map of UAV/Aerial Photos & Videos for Disaster Response (Updated)

Update: Crisis Map now includes features to post photos in addition to videos!

The latest version of the Humanitarian UAV Network’s Crisis Map of UAV/aerial photos & videos is now live on the Network’s website. The crowdsourced map already features dozens of aerial videos of recent disasters. Now, users can also post aerial photographs areas. Like the use of social media for emergency management, this new medium—user-generated (aerial) content—can be used by humanitarian organizations to complement their damage assessments and thus improve situational awareness.

UAViators Map

The purpose of this Humanitarian UAV Network (UAViators) map is not only to provide humanitarian organizations and disaster-affected communities with an online repository of aerial information on disaster damage to augment their situational awareness; this crisis map also serves to raise awareness on how to safely & responsibly use small UAVs for rapid damage assessments. This explains why users who upload new content to the map must confirm that they have read the UAViator‘s Code of Conduct. They also have to confirm that the photos & videos conform to the Network’s mission and that they do not violate privacy or copyrights. In sum, the map seeks to crowdsource both aerial footage and critical thinking for the responsible use of UAVs in humanitarian settings.

UAViators Map 4

As noted above, this is the first version of the map, which means several other features are currently in the works. These new features will be rolled out incrementally over the next weeks and months. In the meantime, feel free to suggest any features you’d like to see in the comments section below. Thank you.

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  • Humanitarian UAV Network: Strategy for 2014-2015 [link]
  • Humanitarians in the Sky: Using UAVs for Disaster Response [link]
  • Humanitarian UAV Missions During Balkan Floods [link]
  • Using UAVs for Disaster Risk Reduction in Haiti [link]
  • Using MicroMappers to Make Sense of UAV/Aerial Imagery During Disasters [link]

Crowdsourcing a Crisis Map of UAV/Aerial Videos for Disaster Response

Journalists and citizen journalists are already using small UAVs during disasters. And some are also posting their aerial videos online: Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), Moore Tornado, Arkansas Tornado and recent floods in Florida, for example. Like social media, this new medium—user-generated (aerial) content—can be used by humanitarian organizations to augment their damage assessments and situational awareness. I’m therefore spearheading the development of a crisis map to crowdsource the collection of aerial footage during disasters. This new “Humanitarian UAV Map” (HUM) project is linked to the Humanitarian UAV Network (UAViators).

Travel by Drone

The UAV Map, which will go live shortly, is inspired by Travel by Drone Map displayed above. In other words, we’re aiming for simplicity. Unlike the above map, however, we’ll be using OpenStreetMap (OSM) instead of Google Maps as our base map since the former is open source. What’s more, and as noted in my forthcoming book, the Humanitarian OSM Team (HOT) does outstanding work crowdsourcing up-to-date maps during disasters. So having OSM as a base map makes perfect sense.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 2.39.17 PM

Given that we’ve already developed a VideoClicker as part of our MicroMappers platform, we’ll be using said Clicker to crowdsource the analysis & quality control of videos posted to our crisis map. Stay tuned for the launch, our Crisis Aerial Map will be live shortly.

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See Also:

  • Welcome to the Humanitarian UAV Network [link]
  • How UAVs are Making a Difference in Disaster Response [link]
  • Humanitarians Using UAVs for Post Disaster Recovery [link]
  • Grassroots UAVs for Disaster Response [link]
  • Using UAVs for Search & Rescue [link]
  • Debrief: UAV/Drone Search & Rescue Challenge [link]
  • Crowdsourcing Analysis of UAV Imagery for Search/Rescue [link]
  • Check-List for Flying UAVs in Humanitarian Settings [link]

Digital Humanitarian Response to Typhoon Pablo in Philippines

Update: Please help the UN! Tag tweets to support disaster response!

The purpose of this post is to keep notes on our efforts to date with the aim of revisiting these at a later time to write a more polished blog post on said efforts. By “Digital Humanitarian Response” I mean the process of using digital tech-nologies to aid disaster response efforts.

pablo-photos

My colleagues and I at QCRI have been collecting disaster related tweets on Typhoon Pablo since Monday. More specifically, we’ve been collecting those tweets with the hashtags officially endorsed by the government. There were over 13,000 relevant tweets posted on Tuesday alone. We then paid Crowdflower workers to micro-task the tagging of these hash-tagged tweets based on the following categories (click picture to zoom in):

Crowdflower

Several hundred tweets were processed during the first hour. On average, about 750 tweets were processed per hour. Clearly, we’d want that number to be far higher, (hence the need to combine micro-tasking with automated algorithms, as explained in the presentation below). In any event, the micro-tasking could also be accelerated if we increased the pay to Crowdflower workers. As it is, the total cost for processing the 13,000+ tweets came to about $250.

The database of processed tweets was then shared (every couple hours) with the Standby Volunteer Task Force (SBTF). SBTF volunteers (“Mapsters”) only focused on tweets that had been geo-tagged and tagged as relevant (e.g., “Casaualties,” “Infrastructure Damage,” “Needs/Asks,” etc.) by Crowdflower workers. SBTF volunteers then mapped these tweets on a Crowdmap as part of a training exercise for new Mapsters.

Geofeedia Pablo

We’re now talking with a humanitarian colleague in the Philippines who asked whether we can identify pictures/videos shared on social media that show damage, bridges down, flooding, etc. The catch is that these need to have a  location and time/date for them to be actionable. So I went on Geofeedia and scraped the relevant content available there (which Mapsters then added to the Crowdmap). One constraint of Geofeedia (and many other such platforms), however, is that they only map content that has been geo-tagged by users posting said content. This means we may be missing the majority of relevant content.

So my colleagues at QCRI are currently pulling all tweets posted today (Wed-nesday) and running an automated algorithm to identify tweets with URLs/links. We’ll ask Crowdflower workers to process the most recent tweets (and work backwards) by tagging those that: (1) link to pictures/video of damage/flooding, and (2) have geographic information. The plan is to have Mapsters add those tweets to the Crowdmap and to share the latter with our humanitarian colleague in the Philippines.

There are several parts of the above workflows that can (and will) be improved. I for one have already learned a lot just from the past 24 hours. But this is the subject of a future blog post as I need to get back to the work at hand.