Good data cuts through the chaos in Haiti

How aggregated data sources and deep analysis are helping Haiti relief efforts

A host of relief organizations quickly converged on Haiti in the wake of January's earthquake. But each group had its own data, its own structures, and sometimes, its own language. In this guest post, Palantir Technologies software engineer Ari Gesher explains how his company helped important data spread across organizations.

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How crowdsourcing helped Haiti's relief efforts

How crowdsourcing helped Haiti's relief efforts

Lukas Biewald on CrowdFlower's emergency shift from microtasks to Kreyol translations

Tech-minded volunteers quickly pitched in with a variety of communication and data services in the days following the Haiti earthquake. One company — crowdsourcing platform CrowdFlower — repurposed its service as a text-message translation tool to aid Mission 4636. CrowdFlower founder and CEO Lukas Biewald shares his story in this guest post.

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Four short links: 22 February 2010 Four short links: 22 February 2010

Four short links: 22 February 2010

Schuyler in Haiti, Data Principles, Damn Internet Get Off My Lawn, and Leadership Lessons

  1. Schuyler Erle’s blog — Schuyler, a leading geohacker, is in Haiti as part of a World Bank effort to rebuild geospatial infrastructure. His blog posts and twitpics are excellent.
  2. Panton Principles — basic groundrules for useful open data in science. Raises the flag of licensing: arbitrary license clauses or hastily-repurposed software licenses lead to a quagmire of incompatible licenses and prevent useful combinations of data, just as license proliferation in open source created a confusing and difficult environment for people trying to combine multiple open source projects’ code.
  3. The Internet? Bah! (Cliff Stohl) — piece from 1995, which I remember reading when it was first published. It stands as a great reminder that scale and change happen: in 1995 there were barely 16 million Internet users and statements like this seemed self-evident: Then there’s cyberbusiness. We’re promised instant catalog shopping–just point and click for great deals. We’ll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations and negotiate sales contracts. Stores will become obselete. So how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month? Even if there were a trustworthy way to send money over the Internet–which there isn’t–the network is missing a most essential ingredient of capitalism: salespeople. (via Hacker News)
  4. Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy (YouTube) — 3m long and it’s a brilliant insight into creating a movement. Must watch. (via robertobrien on Twitter)
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