Patrick Meier: Big Data Done Right — Free Open Source Real Time Twitter Base

Automatically Classifying Text Messages (SMS) for Disaster Response Humanitarian organizations like the UN and Red Cross often face a deluge of social media data when disasters strike areas with a large digital footprint. This explains why my team and I have been working on AIDR (Artificial Intelligence for Disaster Response), a free and open source platform …

Patrick Meier: UN Experts Meeting on Humanitarian UAVs

UN Experts Meeting on Humanitarian UAVs The Humanitarian UAV Network (UAViators) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) are co-organizing the first ever “Experts Meeting on Humanitarian UAVs” next month at UN Headquarters in New York. This full-day strategy meeting, which is co-sponsored by the ICT for Peace Foundation (ICT4Peace) and QCRI, will …

Patrick Meier: Low-UAV for Post-Disaster Assessment — An Alternative to Government Imagery Intelligence That Is Neither Capable Nor Responsive…

Low-Cost UAV Applications for Post-Disaster Assessments: A Streamlined Workflow Colleagues Matthew Cua, Charles Devaney and others recently co-authored this excellent study on their latest use of low-cost UAVs/drones for post-disaster assessments, environmental development and infrastructure development. They describe the “streamlined workflow—flight planning and data acquisition, post-processing, data delivery and collaborative sharing,” that they created “to deliver acquired images and orthorectified …

Patrick Meier: Integrating Geo-Data with Social Media Improves Situational Awareness During Disasters

Integrating Geo-Data with Social Media Improves Situational Awareness During Disasters A new data-driven study on the flooding of River Elbe in 2013 (one of the most severe floods ever recorded in Germany) shows that geo-data can enhance the process of extracting relevant information from social media during disasters. The authors use “specific geographical features like hydrological data and …

Patrick Meier: Crowdsourced Crisis Map of UAV/Aerial Videos for Disaster Response

Crowdsourced Crisis Map of UAV/Aerial Videos for Disaster Response The first version of the Humanitarian UAV Network’s Crisis Map of UAV/aerial videos is now live on the Network’s website. The crowdsourced map features dozens of aerial videos of recent disasters. Like social media, this new medium—user-generated (aerial) content—can be used by humanitarian organizations to complement their damage assessments and thus …

Patrick Meier: Using UAVs for Community Mapping & Disaster Risk Reduction — The Haiti Example

Using UAVs for Community Mapping and Disaster Risk Reduction in Haiti “What if, to solve our problems, we simply need to rise above them?” CartONG and France’s OpenStreetMap (OSM) community recently teamed up to support OSM Haiti’s disaster risk reduction efforts by deploying a small UAV, “which proved very useful for participatory mapping.” The video documentary below provides an excellent …

Patrick Meier: Comprehensive List of UAVs for Humanitarian Response

Comprehensive List of UAVs for Humanitarian Response Posted on June 24, 2014 | Leave a comment The Humanitarian UAV Network (UAViators) is carrying out a comprehensive evaluation of UAVs and related technologies for use in humanitarian settings. We’ve developed an evaluation framework for this assessment and have now drafted this list of UAV models to determine which are …

Patrick Meier: Learning from Conservation UAV Campaigns — with Comment on 21st Century Neighborhood Watch, Alternative ISR, Citizen Intelligence

What Humanitarians Can Learn from Conservation UAVs 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 …

Patrick Meier: Zoomanitarians – Using Citizen Science and Next Generation Satellites to Accelerate Disaster Damage Assessments

Zoomanitarians: Using Citizen Science and Next Generation Satellites to Accelerate Disaster Damage Assessments Zoomanitarians has been in the works for well over a year, so we’re excited to be going fully public for the first time. Zoomanitarians is a joint initiative between Zooniverse (Brook Simmons), Planet Labs (Alex Bakir) and myself at QCRI. The purpose of Zoomanitarians …

Patrick Meier: Humanitarian UAV Strategy

Humanitarian UAV Network: Strategy for 2014-2015 The purpose of the Humanitarian UAV Network (UAViators) is to guide the responsible and safe use of small UAVs in humanitarian settings while promoting information sharing and enlightened policymaking. As I’ve noted in the past, UAVs are already being used to support a range of humanitarian efforts. So the question …

Patrick Meier: Latest Findings on Disaster Resilience – From Burma to California via the Rockefeller Foundation

Latest Findings on Disaster Resilience: From Burma to California via the Rockefeller Foundation I’ve long been interested in disaster resilience particularly when considered through the lens of self-organization. To be sure, the capacity to self-organize is an important feature of resilient societies. So what facilitates self-organization? There are several factors, of course, but the two I’m …

Patrick Meier: An Introduction to Humanitarian UAVs – Comment by Robert Steele

An Introduction to Humanitarian UAVs and their Many Uses Satellite images have been used to support humanitarian efforts for decades. Why? A bird’s eye view of a disaster-affected area simply captures far more information than most Earth-based data-collection technologies can. In short, birds have more situational awareness than we do. In contrast to satellites, UAVs offer significantly …

Patrick Meier: Operational Checklist for Flying UAVs in Humanitarian Settings

An Operational Check-List for Flying UAVs in Humanitarian Settings The Humanitarian UAV Network (UAViators) has taken off much faster than I expected. More than 240 members in 32 countries have joined the network since it’s launch just a few weeks ago. I was also pleasantly surprised by the number of humanitarian organizations that got in touch with me …

Patrick Meier: Got TweetCred? Use This Tool To Automatically Identify Credible Tweets

Got TweetCred? Use it To Automatically Identify Credible Tweets What if there were a way to automatically identify credible tweets during major events like disasters? Sounds rather far-fetched, right? Think again. The new field of Digital Information Forensics is increasingly making use of Big Data analytics and techniques from artificial intelligence like machine learning to automatically verify social media. This …