What computing and informatics tools will help Haiti?

A great deal has been written about the how the combination of social media and cell phone technology has become a powerful fundraising mechanism in the wake of the disastrous earthquake in Haiti on Tuesday.  But that one example got me thinking about other kinds of computational tools that could help provide an accurate picture of both the reality near the epicenter of the quake and the ripple effects throughout the region and across the globe. # Link in context

I posted a question about this via twitter with the hashtag #DistributedExpertise and got some interesting responses via Facebook and email that further fueled my own thinking. Some are examples of applications already providing vital information about the situation on the ground, while others could be created to provide useful ongoing coverage, especially as earthquake survivors emigrate to the US and elsewhere. I’m going to split the responses into a couple of posts. This one will focus on breaking news coverage, the next will look at lessons from the Katrina and the 2004 tsunami, and the final post will focus on tools for local coverage. # Link in context

Breaking news coverage

They included searchable databases of victims, such as this Haitian Earthquake Registry,  which pulls information from a database maintained by the International Committee of the Red Cross, among other sources. # Link in context

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The New York Times is being widely applauded for its interactive map of the region with embedded audio and video: # Link in context

Those seeking to track the seismological data on the quake would do well to consult Wolfram Alpha, which mapped and charted the quake and the aftershocks: # Link in context

The Wolfram Alpha chart neatly summarizes information that is provided in greater depth by the US Geological Survey. In addition to the seismological reports, there is a podcast in which one of their experts answers questions. # Link in context

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Cyberjournalist.net points to another great map by USA Today that includes radio buttons that you can click on to overlay certain kinds of information # Link in context

Georgia Popplewell, the invaluable managing director of Global Voices Online, has a great Twitter list that aggregates posts from Haiti # Link in context

The unfortunately-named site Chartporn has a running catalog of interesting and useful data visualizations related to the disaster: # Link in context

Services for donors and volunteers

Al Tompkins at the Poynter Institute points to Charity Navigator as a way to find credible organizations to receive donations. # Link in context

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Have you seen any interesting applications that should be included in this list? # Link in context

CC BY-ND 4.0 What computing and informatics tools will help Haiti? by Kim Pearson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.