Patrick Meier is the director of Crisis Mapping for Ushahidi, a not-for-profit technology company that develops "free and open source software for information collection, visualization and interactive mapping."
Like many other humanitarian aid facilitators and organizations, the power of social media and its ability to connect thousands of volunteers was realized after the earthquake in Haiti. Patrick Meier describes the way in which the Ushahidi platform was applied to crisis information in the creation of a collaborative map that ended up being an extremely successful tool for organizing grassroots response efforts. In this way, humanitarian response in times of crisis has been revolutionized with websites like Twitter and Facebook, which all contribute to the mapping of crucial information.
In this captivating talk, Patrick Meier retells the story of Haiti, and the mere five hours it took to put together the first map.