Crowdsourcing and Crisis Mapping

Prepared by: Kim Stephens–July 2012
Blogs you should read: Ushahidi, iRevolution, Crisismappers,

Crisis Mapping: Ushahidi/Haiti
What is a Crisis Mapper? According to they leverage mobile & web-based applications, participatory maps & crowdsourced event data, aerial & satellite imagery, geospatial platforms, advanced visualization, live simulation, and computational & statistical models to power effective early warning for rapid response to complex humanitarian emergencies.

  • Valuch, J. “What we learned from Haiti and where to go in Pakistan?” Blog August 2010 <>.
  • Wells, L, Welborn R “From Haiti to Helmand: Using Open Source Information to Enhance Situational Awareness and Operational Effectiveness”. Center for Technology and National Security Policy (CTNSP). 2010. Accessed Jan. 2011. <>.

Crowdsourcing and Volunteer Technology Community 
What is Crowdsourcing? According to Crowdsourcing has been a popular crisis mapping tool. Used to map a wide range of issues, crowdsourcing makes it easier for a large group of people from all over a region, city, country, etc., to document where problems are occurring and when. This information is used to help respond to problems, provide aid to regions that need it and keep the public up-to-date on issues as they progress.”

Crisis Mapping, Crisis Informatics and Social Networks:  Books, Articles & Blogs

  • Aguiton, Chistophe, “Living Maps: new data, new uses, new problems.” Sociology and Economics of Networks and Services Department, Orange Labs, Paris France. Accessed July 2010. <>.
  • Coyle, Diana and Patrick Meier. “New Technologies in Emergencies and Conflicts: The Role of Social Networks.” June 2010. United Nations Foundation -Vodafone Foundation Partnership. 2009. Accessed Aug. 2010. <“>;.
  • Currion, P. “Emergency Capacity Building Project – A collaborative effort of the Inter-Agency Working Group on Emergency Capacity, Information and Technology Requirements Initiative, Assessment Report”. Global Response, 2005.
  • Fischer, G. (2009). “Cultures of Participation and Social Computing: Rethinking and Reinventing Learning and Education.” In Proceedings of the International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT), IEEE Press, Riga, Latvia, 2009.
  • Hattotuwa, Sanjana and Daniel Stauffacher. “Cross-fertilisation of UN Common Operational Datasets and Crisismapping.” ICT for Peace Foundation. 14 October, 2010. Accessed Oct. 2010. <>.
  • Hughes, Amanda, et. al. “Site-Seeing in Disaster: An Examination of On-Line Social Convergence.” University of Colorado, Boulder. May, 2008. Accessed Aug. 2010. <>.
  • Liu, Sophia and Jen Ziemke.“From Cultures of Participation to the Rise of Crisis Mapping in a Networked World. In Routledge Handbook of Participatory Cultures, 2012.
  • Liu, S.B & Iacucci, A.A. (2010). Crisis Map Mashups in a Participatory Age. American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM) Bulletin, June 2010, pp. 10-14.
  • Meier, P. & Leaning, J. “Applying Technology to Crisis Mapping and Early Warning in Humanitarian Settings.” Crisis Mapping Working Paper, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, 2009.
  • Meier, Patrick. “SwiftRiver | Verifying and Filtering News (FOSS).” Ushahidi Blog. Accessed Aug. 2010. <>
  • Neis, P., Singler, P., Zipf, A.  “Collaborative mapping and Emergency Routing for Disaster Logistics – Case studies from the Haiti earthquake and the UN portal for Afrika.” 2010  In: Car, A., Griesebner, G., Strobl, J. (Eds.): Geospatial Crossroads @ GI_Forum ’10. Proceedings of the Geoinformatics Forum Salzburg.
  • “Oil Spill Crisis Map.” 16 July 2010 <>
  • O’ Reilly, Tim.  “What is Web 2.0 Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software.” O’ Sept. 2005. 31 July 2010 <>.
  • Palen, L., S. Vieweg, J. Sutton, S.B. Liu & A. Hughes (2007). “Crisis Informatics: Studying Crisis in a Networked World”. Third International Conference on e-Social Science, Ann Arbor, Michigan, October 7-9, 2007.
  • Palen, Leysia, et. al. “A Vision for Technology-Mediated Support for Public Participation & Assistance in Mass Emergencies & Disasters.” British Informatics Society Ltd., Proceedings of ACM-BCS Visions of Computer Science. 2010. Accessed Sept. 2010. <>.
  • “Project EPIC: Empowering the Public with Information in Crisis.” University of Colorado, Boulder and University of California, Irvine. 2010. Accessed September 2010. <>.
  • Shklovski, I., Palen, L., Sutton, J. “Finding Community Through Information and Communication Technology During Disaster Events.” Computer Supported Cooperative Work 2008 Conference Proceedings, November 8-12, 2008.
  • Sumner, Mark.  “The Value of Infomation and Communications Technologies in Humanitarian Response.” MIT Press. Accessed Jan 2011. <>.

3 responses to “Crowdsourcing and Crisis Mapping

  1. Pingback: Voluntarios digitales en emergencias. Canadá está creando su equipo CanVOST | iRescate

  2. Pingback: Crisis Mapping Conference – xAnalytica

  3. Hi Kim,

    This is a good overview on crisis mapping. I just wanted to make you aware of a crisis map that we just launched – you can find it here:

    As we’re a medical crowdfunding site, the map shows recent crisis where crowdfunding could help. We hope that increases awareness on global events and helps to raise money for those most in need.

    Would love your feedback, if any.


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