3 PM Checkpoint at Crisis Camp DC: Aspirations Translated to Code

By 3 PM, project managers at Crisis Camp DC had substantive accomplishments to report from the day’s work. Whether it was translation of educational resources, a working crisis resources wiki or a “SimCity for the Haitian Government,” goals had gone from aspirations on white boards to coded realities.

Machine Translation: A team in Toronto has created a system to use Google translation in the meantime. In DC, they’re working on Python integration with C code. Two developers are focused on data formatting. Another is working upon consolidating C code. Another is looking for a way push out a build. It’s unclear if this project can be done by the end of the day but a process is in place to transition throughout the week. Notable: Bing Search added Haitian Creole translation to MicrosoftTranslator.com and credited Crisis Commons work on MSDN.com. Google has also added Haitian Creole Google Translate.

Situational Awareness: This team has established a methodology, building on what Noel Dickover accomplished at SouthCOM for healthcare infrastructure. The UN will be starting to assess damage to education institutions on Monday. The team went and acquired hard drives and computers to upload collected imagery and other data. They’ll be delivering the synthesized data next week to the government ministries of Haiti. In the meantime, they need to populate data fields, create layers and push out this “SimCity for the government.” The situational awareness team will be providing guidance to the government of Haiti, which has been massively disrupted on many levels.

Crisis Wiki: This team has uploaded around 200 new resources today. They have a couple of volunteers working on tweaking the back end. After adding step by step instructions to the homepage of CrisisWiki.org, the references for crises is essentially good to go.

Accessibility:  The website is done. The project manager will be passing technical details off from home.

OpenStreetMap: The new batch of volunteers has been trained and are all working hard on maps. Project managers are coordinating with teams in New York and Chicago.

Mobile Survey App: A company with a commercial application agreed to allow humanitarian access to app in perpetuity but the team still needs to finalize the legal details. They’re moving forward on establishing where value can be added to that application. One area to focus on may be mobile Open Street Map viewers. Such applications exist (Gaia) but aren’t open source. They’ll be examining whether open maps could be integrated with damage assessment tools, including geo-referencing. The team is also looking at whether a locally replicated version could be pushed to a more nearby server.

TechAID: Making steady progress and coordinating with Crisis Camp Haiti New York.

Language Translation: They found a developer and are continue to work on streamlining. They’re on target to finish by the end of the day. This team had a lengthy call with Crisis Camp New York to coordinate work. The translation team is now working with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project to develop education resources. They’re looking for more information from Haitian-Americans and teachers regarding what books will be appropriate for kids and simple lessons that can be translated into Haitian Creole.

Translators in Action: This team added a ticketing system to improve the process of incoming requests.

At this point in the day, there are three significant news items from today, although every accomplishment above is notable.

1) The OLPC will send 500 laptops to Haiti, with more later. CrisisCamp translation team will help translate education content into Haitian Creole.

2) The World Bank will be using Crisis Camp datasets, which will be hand delivered on hard drives to the Haitian government on Wednesday.

3) CrisisWiki.org is just about ready for volunteers worldwide to independently visit, register and contribute.

More to come as the day draws to a close. // Filed by Alexander B. Howard

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