This is a liveblog post from the International Conference on Crisis Mapping at Tufts University. You can also follow tweets from the event’s many open laptops at the #ICCM10 hashtag.
Christina Corbane is the co-author of a paper entitled: “Can real-time crisis SMS messages help in diagnosing the spatial distribution of structural damage? Analysis of the relationship between the distribution of damage and the location of SMS messages sent during the Haiti crisis.”
Corbane’s work involves damage assessment; she asks if SMS can be used as an early indicator of building damage.
She states that, using SMS locations, her team developed a model for responding to damaged building reports, using graded indicators. She adds that the clustering of building damage patterns and SMS reports helped her team characterize grades of damage, and that they used statistical analysis to find patterns.
In plain English, Corbane’s work found that reported building damage in grades 1-3 was in fact randomly distributed, however, the most affected areas were fairly easily mapped using SMS reporting.