Leland Thibault

Student, National Security Agency

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User-generated data to provide real-time, accessible information relating to disaster and following relief efforts.

It's already acknowledged when things like earthquakes happen, you can actually see it pop up online before you even feel (or realize) the earthquake. Now, this might not have too many uses in the case of earthquakes, but what about drawing accurate fire-lines in case of wildfires? We could have people constantly updating GPS coordinates to track the movement. How about tracking tornadoes?

Afterwards, for disaster relief...people could start offering details about their neighborhood, individual homes, specific damages. That raw data could be taken, put on google maps, and anyone on the web can have amazingly detailed information about the exact situation. What if some program provided a copy/paste format to provide this sort of information, location, and specific needs...so that this could all happen automatically.

@random tweets location, damages, need sawzall and bottled water
This goes directly to google maps, and displays it when you scroll over their house...

I'm sure all this happens to a certain extent anyway, but if there was some way to disseminate the information so it's as well-known as emergency phone numbers (#911)...well, it could be more useful to help people help themselves and their neighbors, than solely relying on FEMA or other emergency organizations.

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    Apr 11 2012: The problem with this is the accuracy of the information and the way in which people tend to exaggerate the damage to their own stuff. Also, who decides when to put what information on the map? A computer? This might prove very difficult to create.

    Don't get me wrong, I like the idea! However, it might be difficult to implement this system for use other than warning people. Take a look at the TED-talk by Sir Berners Lee about Open Data; it is about the use of data on maps and connecting that data (http://www.ted.com/talks/tim_berners_lee_the_year_open_data_went_worldwide.html)