Haiti’s Earthquake, One Year Later

The earthquake that devastated Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010, killed more than 230,000 people. This natural disaster’s devastation brought unprecedented ways to aid the recovery effort through new media and communications technologies in the humanitarian responses.

A report (pdf) released yesterday by Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities takes a critical look at the role of communications in the crisis and recommends ways to improve the effectiveness of utilizing media in future disaster relief efforts. According to the report, “The most notable innovations to emerge from Haiti were: the translation of crowdsourced data to actionable information; the use of SMS message broadcasting in a crisis; and crowdsourcing of open maps for humanitarian application.”

Some of the most notable developments were the application of Ushahidi, an online crisis mapping platform that include SMS texts in their bank of information, and OpenStreetMaps, an open community of volunteer mappers that made maps of the crisis in Haiti.
To read full article on the report, click here.

There is also a new online Haiti mapping project developed by InterAction helps map out the work of NGOs on the ground in Haiti. The interactive Haiti Aid Map was developed in partnership with U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) and sponsored by FedEx.


To see pictures of the destruction of Haiti then and now, click here. The Aerial photos are from GeoEye & Google
New York Times

Sachiye Day, VERTICES intern


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