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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Blogging the floods

flood Following the vast online response to the disaster that hurricane Katrina caused in New Orleans, I was thinking about what UK bloggers could do to help those affected by the recent UK floods. Tony Hirst was thinking the same thing and came up with a Google Maps response to water bowser locations in Gloucestershire. Nice work Tony.

I'm still wondering though, what could web 2.0 technologies do in times of national emergency like these?

2 comments:

  1. "I'm still wondering though, what could web 2.0 technologies do in times of national emergency like these?"

    How about something like "wikiNet" cf RAYnet (and maybe QEDwiki?), a read/writeable app/mashup tool with:

    a) public writeable areas, and

    b) closed/approved user write areas, (public read)


    that could be used as a focus for community provided public information/IT support in times of disaster or emergency?

    I found it took me two or three goes yesterday to find the water bowser data through google.

    A problem with emergencies is the "fog of war"/data paucity; so maybe snippets of information collected howsoever can be turned to good use via appropriate use of the web?

    tony

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  2. There's already lots of info on Wikipedia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_2007_United_Kingdom_floods
    but it's more documentation than support material. Whatever is done clearly needs to be readable on mobile devices, but most importantly, needs to be bang up to date. I suspect that this will not be possible without a strong commitment from public authorities (who are not particularly likely to be responsive to the web 2.0 public input ethos). The simplest solution may be to persuade everyone with information to blog it using a specified tag, which could easily by picked up by a Google blogsearch or simple automated mashup?

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