Ignite Talk: Shadrock Roberts

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.

Shadrock Roberts of Quartier par Quartier takes the stage for an ignite talk.

“Moving data from an individual incident to a more temporal solution” is the issue, Roberts explains.

Roberts explains that the mapping platforms hold individual points, but everyone attempts to use them in a different way to say a different thing.  Roberts asks, “How do we develop a common language?”  He suggests developing best practices.

He also brings up the structural question of distributed vs. hierarchical, asking what kind of management model works best for these types of projects.

“Should we rethink local?” Roberts asks in a slide.  He says that, in their work in Haiti, it was problematic as they didn’t have someone identified as a representative of Quartier par Quartier.  He explains that it’s important to have someone on the ground to talk to local workers, but that it’s also important to have distributed networks to talk to others in the diaspora, etc.

“Even though you need to have someone there on the ground, don’t forget that these networks spread across large geographic areas,” Roberts notes.

He explains that their work in Haiti was frustrating; they got the data but had difficulty mapping it as they liked.  Roberts says that, together as a community, the crisis mapping teams can move forward and collaborate.

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