5 PM Conference Call: Haiti DC Crisis Camp Checkpoint, Outcomes

At the end of the day, projects needed to be posted or handed off to the West Coast for more development. The conference call with the Crisis Camps around the country served as a checkpoint and opportunity to transition. All of the code built in DC was open source and ready to be built upon.

CrisisWiki: This built off of a previous project, HurricaneWiki.org, which features information that communities could use in a disaster. They spent time figuring out the information architecture of a wiki that could both be used for Haiti’s needs and be used in future disasters. The team collaborated with Google Wave. They’re looking for assistance with semantic markup and MediaWiki in Silicon Valley. This data will need to be sorted by language and geography. The work to data has all been documented in a Crisis Wiki Google Group. They’ll need help filling in the blanks and building it out.

Languages and translations: This team was able to clear the rights to an English to Creole dictionary. Google and Microsoft do not have translation services for Creole at the current time. The project team used their XML dictionary to create a very basic dictionary. That’s going into .NET. They had a designer in the group to create art assets for some graphic identity. The pictograph visual guides from earlier in the day were formalized. That’s critical, given that the literacy rate in Haiti 50%. The LA Haiti Crisis Camp noted on the call that they have six Creole speakers in LA who were willing to further help. This project will be posted on GitHub and be developed for the mobile app. The other camps worked further on localization and an iPhone app for translation. [See wiki] There is a good chance that there will be a working iPhone app for translation from this effort soon.

NGOs in action: Two components: front end and a database. Developers worked to build a CRM solution for aid workers, allowing them to find one another, resources and needs. By the end of the day, the magnitude of the project’s scope meant developers needed to fall back on creating a clean database that future projects could develop against, with more than 180 organizations listed. For now, there’s information on Haiti.casefoundation.org

People Finder: Google has already taken the lead on centralization. This team found data sources – blogs, new sites, Facebook – where people were asking for help in unstructured ways. Members fed that data in and pointed people to Google’s finder. Brooklyn’s camp rung in that they’d been working on a mashup that included some localization. Also a note that another team had created a crawler to find this data.

“We Have/We need”: This project was focused on created an exchange. There is a Google Group for this, along with the help documentation in the wiki. The mobile interface for this was about 70% complete. LA’s Haiti Crisis Camp was ready to take this on.

Mapping: This group showed volunteers how to contribute to OpenStreetMap.org. There is also CrisisMappers.org.

Haiti Timeline: This group created an event timeline for different events, including triggering events, analysis and recommendations for improvements, particularly with the use of open source information in the field. John at CrisisPatterns.org coordinated this project.

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