Patrick Meier: The Women of Crisis Mapping

Culture, Geospatial
Patrick Meier
Patrick Meier

The Women of Crisis Mapping

The vast majority of volunteers engaged in the Ushahidi-Haiti Crisis Map project (January 2010) were women. The Ushahidi-Chile Crisis Map (March 2010) was entirely spearheaded by women. Fast forward three years and women in 2013 are still the main driving force behind the field of crisis mapping. If you peruse the membership of the Standby Task Force’s Core Team, you’ll find that the majority are women. This cannot be mere coincidence. It follows, therefore, that the field of crisis mapping today would definitely not be what it is were it not for these amazing  women, many of whom I am honored to count as friends.

Where is all this coming from, you might as? I just spoke at GSMA’s Mobile World Congress (MWC13) in Barcelona and was shocked (is horrified too strong a word?) by the total male domination of the mobile industry. (This is saying something given that I had spent the previous five weeks in Qatar). The only “group” of women I saw at the venue were teenage girls hired to serve as models so that men could pose with them for photo ops (no joke). This got me thinking about the communities that I belong to, such as the crisis mapping and humani-tarian technology communities. So I thought back to the early days (Haiti & Chile) and to the role of women in crisis mapping today. The contrast with GSMA could not possibly be starker.

So this post is dedicated to the amazing women who have made important contributions to the field of crisis mapping. The following is a list of colleagues who I have had the honor of working with and learning from over the past 3 years. (As always with long lists, they are fraught with danger: I really hope that no one has been left out; please email me and give me a hard time if I have!). A big, big thank you to all of you for your wisdom, tenacity and friendship. If I ever have daughters, I hope they become as formidable as all of you.

All phones and links below the line.

Leesa Astredo

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Hilde Berg-Hansen

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Heather Blanchard

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Rachel Brown

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Willow Brugh

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Virginia Brusa

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Sabina Carleson

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Jaclyn Carlsen

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Jennifer Catalano

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Natalie Chang

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Hana Cervenka

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Jennifer Chan

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Kate Chapman

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Rebecca Chiao

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Kate Cummings

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Jacqui Deelstra

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Jaimie Dougherty

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Carol Gallo

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Shoreh Elhami

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Melissa Elliott

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Sara Farmer

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Ellen Fieg

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Vaughn Hester

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Jessica Heinzelman

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Nicole Hofmann

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Anahi Ayala Iacucci

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Emily Jacobi

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Christina Kraich-Rogers

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Helena Puig Larrauri

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Nona Lambert

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Jennifer Leaning

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Lilian Lehman

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Jeannine Lemaire

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Heather Leson

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Sophia Liu

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Jamie Lundine

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Justine Mackinnon

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Laura Mann

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Chrissy Martin

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Althea Middleton-Detzner

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Ory Okolloh

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Glafira Parinos

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Kate Perino

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Marta Poblet

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Lela Prashad

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Keera Pullman

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Linda Raftree

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Bharathi Ramasubramanian

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Elena Rapisardi

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Estella Reed

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Kyla Reid

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Diana Rodriguez-Wong

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Yanina Seltzer

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Denise (Roz) Sewell

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Rachel Houde Simard

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Sawako Sonoyama

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Kate Starbird

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Caroline Stauffer

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Kim Stephens

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Diana Sinton

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Luciana Torriani

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Lauren Wolfe

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Phoebe Wynn-Pope

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Jen Ziemke

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Happy International Women’s Day 2013!