I recently joined my fellow National Geographic Emergency Explorer colleague Shah Selbe on his first expedition of SoarOcean, which seeks to leverage low-cost UAVs for Ocean protection. Why did I participate in an expedition that seemingly had nothing to do with humanitarian response? Because the conservation space is well ahead of the humanitarian sector when it comes to using UAVs. To this end, we have a lot to learn from colleagues like Shah and others outside our field. The video below explains this further & provides a great overview of SoarOcean.
Phi Beta Iota: We appear to be moving slowly but surely toward “People’s UAV Meets Neighborhood Watch.” We need to start paying more attention to how neighborhoods can self-organize so that UAV collection is joined by human observation and reflection, and all of this is put into a sprase matrix database on top of CrisisMappers down to the zip code level.
The time may have come for a small workshop to focus on Altnerative ISR Meets Neighborhood Watch. The National Defense University (NDU) would be the right place for this, co-sponsored by the US Army Strategic Studies Institute (SSI), the US Institute for Peace (USIP), and the United Nations Department of Peackeeping Operations (DPKO), along with a broad range of NGO observers and domestic activist groups. SOCOM and NATO should be actively engaged as well.