Business Week covers Disaster Maps

This is a cross-post from the Mapufacture Blog, but I wanted to point out an article published in Business Week: Making Maps Work When Disaster Strikes that discusses the role of collaborative mapping in emergency response situations. In particular it highlights the work of GeoCommons, OpenStreetMap, and Mapufacture, open geodata, and easy to use tools. Read the Mapufacture post for more thoughts on the article.

There is quite an underlying question here about the importance of both crowd-sourcing as well as curated, or expert data and tools. I believe moving forward there will be a lot of effort mixing the differences as well as applications that allow for the proper use and understanding of the data and published maps.

One minor point that is disappointing about Business Week's site is the lack of external links to the organizations or tools. The only links are to Business Week's own internal listing for businesses. In fact, besides the Digg & del.icio.us taggings, I don't think there is a single link on the article's page that isn't either an internal link to Business Week, or through one of their advertisements.

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About the Author

Andrew Turner is an advocate of open standards and open data. He is actively involved in many organizations developing and supporting open standards, including OpenStreetMap, Open Geospatial Consortium, Open Web Foundation, OSGeo, and the World Wide Web Consortium. He co-founded CrisisCommons, a community of volunteers that, in coordination with government agencies and disaster response groups, build technology tools to help people in need during and after a crisis such as an earthquake, tsunami, tornado, hurricane, flood, or wildfire.