Patrick Meier: Geospatial Information Management – Ten Year Vision

A 10 Year Vision: Future Trends in Geospatial Information Management The United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) recently published their second edition of Future Trends in Geospatial Information Management. I blogged about the first edition here. Below are some of the excerpts I found interesting or noteworthy. The report itself is …

Patrick Meier: Summary of Recent Accomplishments

QED – Goodbye Doha, Hello Adventure! EXTRACT I joined the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) well over 3 years ago with a very specific mission and mandate: to develop and deploy next generation humanitarian technologies. So I built the Institute’s Social Innovation Program from the ground up and recruited the majority of the full-time experts (scientists, engineers, research assistants, …

Patrick Meier: Automating Visual Heuristics — Human Clicks Train Computer Algorithms on Big Data (Aerial)

Using Computer Vision to Analyze Big (Aerial) Data from UAVs During Disasters Recent scientific research has shown that aerial imagery captured during a single 20-minute UAV flight can take more than half-a-day to analyze. We flew several dozen flights during the World Bank’s humanitarian UAV mission in response to Cyclone Pam earlier this year. The imagery we captured would’ve taken …

Patrick Meier: Nepal Humanitarian UAV Lessons Learned — A Long Way to Go — Internet Pipe is Achilles Heel.

Humanitarian UAV Missions in Nepal: Early Observations Phi Beta Iota: Worth a full read.  We are reminded of DARPA’s STRONG ANGEL and note with interest that the Internet being down in Nepal makes a lot of the UAV collection irrelevant — sort of like NSA’s global collection that is not processed and 99% of “big …

Patrick Meier: Digital Jedis – Nepal Earthquake

A Force for Good: How Digital Jedis are Responding to the Nepal Earthquake Digital Humanitarians are responding in full force to the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal. Information sharing and coordination is taking place online via CrisisMappers and on multiple dedicated Skype chats. The Standby Task Force (SBTF), Humanitarian OpenStreetMap (HOT) and others from the Digital Humanitarian Network …

Patrick Meier: Crowdsourcing Imagery Analysis to Create 3D Point Clouds for Disaster Response

Crowdsourcing Point Clouds for Disaster Response Point Clouds, or 3D models derived from high resolution aerial imagery, are in fact nothing new. Several software platforms already exist to reconstruct a series of 2D aerial images into fully fledged 3D-fly-through models. Check out these very neat examples from my colleagues at Pix4D and SenseFly: Read more.

Patrick Meier: Crowd-Sourcing, AI, and Imagery

Aerial Imagery Analysis: Combining Crowdsourcing and Artificial Intelligence MicroMappers combines crowdsourcing and artificial intelligence to make sense of “Big Data” for Social Good. Why artificial intelligence (AI)? Because regular crowdsourcing alone is no match for Big Data. The MicroMappers platform can already be used to crowdsource the search for relevant tweets as well as pictures, videos, text messages, aerial imagery and soon satellite …

Patrick Meier: Digital Humanitarians – The Book

In January 2014, I wrote this blog post announcing my intention to write a book on Digital Humanitarians. Well, it’s done! And launches this week. The book has already been endorsed by scholars at Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Oxford, etc; by practitioners at the United Nations, World Bank, Red Cross, USAID, DfID, etc; and by others including Twitter and National …

Patrick Meier: MicroMappers – Toward Next Generation Humanitarian Technology

MicroMappers: Towards Next Generation Humanitarian Technology The MicroMappers platform has come a long way and still has a ways to go. Our vision for MicroMappers is simple: combine human computing (smart crowd-sourcing) with machine computing (artificial intelligence) to filter, fuse and map a variety of different data types such as text, photo, video and satellite/aerial imagery. To do this, …

Patrick Meier: Digital Jedis, Micro-Mappers, UN, Typhoon Ruby

Calling All Digital Jedis: Support UN Response to Super Typhoon Ruby! The United Nations has officially activated the Digital Humanitarian Network (DHN) in response to Typhoon Ruby. The DHN serves as the official interface between formal humanitarian organizations and digital volunteer groups from all around the world. These digital volunteers—also known as Digital Jedis— provide humanitarian organizations like the …

Patrick Meier: Use of Social Media to Anticipate Human Mobility and Resilience During Disasters

Using Social Media to Anticipate Human Mobility and Resilience During Disasters The analysis of cell phone data can already be used to predict mobility patterns after major natural disasters. Now, a new peer-reviewed scientific study suggests that travel patterns may also be predictable using tweets generated following large disasters. In “Quantifying Human Mobility Perturbation and Resilience in Hurricane Sandy,” co-authors Qi Wang and …

Patrick Meier: Crowdsourcing and Humanitarian Action: Analysis of the Literature

Crowdsourcing and Humanitarian Action: Analysis of the Literature Raphael Hörler from Zurich’s ETH University has just completed his thesis on the role of crowdsourcing in humanitarian action. His valuable research offers one of the most up-to-date and comprehensive reviews of the principal players and humanitarian technologies in action today. In short, I highly recommend this important resource. Raphael’s full …

Patrick Meier: Forthcoming Possibilities in Humanitarian Technology Leveraging Big Data and Computing Research Institutes

Computing Research Institutes as an Innovation Pathway for Humanitarian Technology The World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) is an initiative by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to improve humanitarian action. The Summit, which is to be held in 2016, stands to be one of the most important humanitarian conferences in a decade. One key pillar of WHS is humanitarian innovation. “Transformation …

Patrick Meier: Social Media Hashtag Standards

Establishing Social Media Hashtag Standards for Disaster Response The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has just published an important, must-read report on the use of social media for disaster response. As noted by OCHA, this document was inspired by conversations with my team and I at QCRI. We jointly recognize that innovation in humanitarian technology …