Tag Archive for crowd sourcing

Information Scaffolding

Here’s another way of thinking about crisis mapping as an ecosystem or a cell with a membrane allowing certain information to enter while keeping other out. Some data has data “receptors” in the organization and thus “gets in”. But some information doesn’t and some just doesn’t have the right format: wrong language, incomplete information, time delay, low quality, etc. Please let me know your thoughts on the communicative value of this illustration. Thank you! And here’s how Ushahidi can help.

Decision Scaffolding and Crisis Mapping

I’m working on a series of illustrations to highlight the need for decision scaffolding during an aide mission. The ideas are based on the Ushahidi deployment experience in Haiti after the 2009 earthquake. But the idea is to make this more general. I would love ideas and recommendations on how to make this visualization better and more communicative. (read more about crisis mapping here) Crisis: Smoke Signals from Eye-Witnesses Let’s start with a crisis—a natural disaster or a political upheaval leaves thousands of people in desperate need of help. The people on the ground witness the suffering and use ICT (Information Communication Technology) to send up the spoke signals. Please not that Internet services might be compromised (due to deliberate actions taken by the authorities; infrastructure failures; chaotic conditions on the ground), but people tend to be very creative and use phone lines, radios, satellite links, and just person to person communication to get the information out there. During the current Libyan crisis, people were very creative: “To avoid detection by Libyan secret police, who monitor Facebook and Twitter, Mahmoudi, the leader of the Ekhtalef (“Difference”) Movement, used what’s considered the Match.com of the Middle East to send coded love…

On “The Wisdom of Community”

Powazek, D. (2010). “The Wisdom of Community.” A List Apart. Retrieved on 23 June 2010: http://www.alistapart.com/articles/the-wisdom-of-community/ In The Wisdom of Community Derek Powazek argues for the online extension of James Surowiecki’s Wisdom of Crowds theory. By referring to Surowiecki, Powazek points, that “crowds, presented with the right challenge and the right interface, can be wise”. This means, that a group of people – by balancing each-other – answers any well proposed question much better, than a single person, even a professional. Powazek points, that some online services are using similar methods to WOC to rank information according to their relevance and quality. Most importantly the user’s opinions are influencing the results of the Web search engines. According to Powazek to use the WOC concept in decision making, question answering or information ranking, certain conditions are required. The problems needs to “be broken down to its simplest components”. The number of the participants and the quality of the result are proportional. The motivation of the participants is a key factor, they need to work for their own interest. Showing the previous results is problematic, because “[t]he highly rated items get even more highly rated,m the low rated items fall off the…