Much has been said in recent months about the power of real-time data sharing and collaboration. I came across an amazing example of this today, AlertMap. I often find myself endeavoring to empower my students to view the world from a more holistic global perspective. As you might imagine, that is a challenge with the largely middle / upper middle class students that populate my classes. I can’t wait to share AlertMap with my students.
Havaria Information Service – AlertMap
The AlertMap is an initiative from a Budapest NGO (non-governmental organization). This real-time interactive map charts over 50 types of disasters. The plotted icons link to an information page for the disaster. The information page provides a summary, event description, situation update, and a close-up Google map.
The data collecting and monitoring is conducted by the Hungarian National Association of Radio Distress-Signaling and Infocommunications. Contributing agencies include: U.S. Geological Survey, International Volcano Research Centre, International Association of Emergency Managers, European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre, World Health Organization, Naval Maritime Forecast Center/Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Federal Aviation Administration, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
There are regional maps as well:
I think it is a powerful collaboration among international research and data-gathering organizations. The Wall Street Journal featured AlertMap in an April 11, 2007, article, Real-Time Map Monitors Disasters Around the Globe. As stated in the article the mission of the NGO that coordinates the map is:
crisis omniscience: "to monitor and document all the events on the Earth which may cause disaster or emergency"
Check out AlertMap when you have an opportunity. It is fascinating and disturbing at the same time.