Tag Archives: Haiti

A Ray of Sunshine

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… relief efforts which find them.

Although far from the horror and heroics of those actually in Haiti, one such story that brightened my mood showed how people far away from ground zero are able to make a direct contribution to relief.

The website Haiti.com is enabling offsite volunteers to sift through masses of real-time information mentioning Haiti (from texts, twitter, bloggers, news etc) to find actionable information about problems on the ground in Haiti. The volunteers can …

Tags: American Red Cross earthquake Haiti Oxfam Plan International the Clinton Foundation Ushahidi


After the quake: crowdsourcing Japan

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… together and giving something back.

On the map

Thanks to the pioneering work of Ushahidi in Haiti, crowdsourced crisis-mapping is now almost a standard part of earthquake response. With impressive speed, students in America launched a Japan crowdmap barely two hours after the earthquake struck. During the first chaotic post-quake days, over 3000 people uploaded geo-located data to the map. This provided rescue teams with vital information on trapped people, dangerous zones and …

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Riot in a crowded street

Posted on by Tommaso De Benetti

… the past year or so, Crowdsourcing has proved to be great in a crisis. As Ushahidi have shown in Haiti and Pakistan, with a decent software platform, you can channel the crowd into an efficient and powerful force for good.

But, as Yoda might put it: “power of the crowd, dark side it has”. If it’s possible to organize the crowd into fixing a crisis, what’s to stop someone doing the opposite? Imagine a shadowy, sinister figure (think Tyler Durden from Fight Club, only with a twitter …


How many microtasks does it take to change the world?

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… a French Creole speaker living in Sydney. One day, you read there’s been a massive earthquake in Haiti. Of course you want to help but, besides mailing a check, what can you do? In 1960, in order to participate, you’d have needed the motivation to quit your job, leave your family and fly out to Haiti.

Fast forward to 2010 and, thanks to the folks at Ushahidi, all you need to translate urgent messages from Haiti is an Internet connection and a mobile phone.

And then there’s the …


Is that a hard drive in your pocket?

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… to filter and label this information is using crowdsourcing. A good example of this was after the Haiti earthquake, when volunteers logged on to Haiti.com to translate, verify and generally help make sense of the vast amount of information pouring in. Samasource currently pays hundreds of people from the world’s poorest countries to complete various tasks including those relating to filtering information, while the extraordinaries uses volunteers to help with such tasks as tagging …