Disaster Relief from the Crowd
The incredible feats that can be achieved when lots of people work together hand in hand are particularly obvious in extreme situations. The case of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 missing since March 2014 is a good recent example. The satellite data from the US satellite company DigitalGlobe has been reviewed and any suspicious images have been reported by the Crowd. This helped to delimit the search area and simplified the investigations. Today there are news: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak just informed family members of the flight passengers that the plane crashed into the Indian Ocean.
Beforehand the investigators believed in a rupture since parts of a plane had been apparently spotted on satellite pictures in an area under search in Australia.
As the typhoon Haiyan raged across the Philippines in November 2013, voluntary helpers did some incredible work. All they needed for this was: an internet connection. Uploaded photos, Tweets and news from social networks such as Facebook were all evaluated and divided into general calls for donations and info relevant to the crisis areas. The most important information was relayed over CrisisMap to the UN co-workers, which helped to target deployment.
Hurricane Sandy is another example. In 2012, it tore across the East Coast of the United States, wreaking havoc everywhere. Researchers used the support of voluntary helpers who collected rain samples and provided crucial information on the tornado during this natural disaster. This helped to map the development of the storm and having the possibility of taking precautionary measures for the future.
Crowdsourcing can therefore be used not only for just collecting data, but also for data analysis. If you are interested in helping in disaster areas, please visit: Openstreetmap.org