Today is Global Crisis Camp Day, a day of learning and helping out with the movement that took off in response to the Haiti earthquake earlier this year and continues to sport an active and dedicated community called CrisisCommons.
What is a Crisis Camp? Well, think of it as a Bar Camp for crowdsourcing technology and data gathering to help in preparation and during crisis – people meet in a common space with wifi, pizza, coffee and a common commitment to help out. The movement offers supports to a number of open source technologies that can be used in crisis situations including Ushahidi, Sahana, OpenStreetMap and others. There will be training sessions for many of these and other tools and methods at the camps today.
So ok, what is Crisis Camp Day then? Well, on the heels lessons learned from responding to the many disasters that have struck the world this year, and after holding an international congress in July at the World Bank in Washington DC, Crisis Camp Day is focused around teaching how to use the tools of crowdsourced technology response, and to work through a number of other tasks.
Anyone can participate, and tweets about the event – with physical camps in Washington DC, Bogota, Toronto, London, Silicon Valley and Calgary, as well as an IRC channel for anyone to participate virtually – have been retweeted by the official FEMA Twitter account, Craigslist’s Craig Newmark and many others. In addition to the IRC channel, you can follow the hashtag #ccday and check out the Crisis Commons Wiki page for the event.
So whether you are a developer, an emergency responder, like online maps, or just want to help out in any way you can, swing by one of the physical camps if there is one in your town, or jump on the (very active) IRC channel and shout-out that you’d like to help.
Note: The author of this piece is an active volunteer in CrisisCommons
Photos: Sunlight Foundation