CrisisWiki is a editable directory of resources related to disaster response and emergency preparedness. Inspired by HurricaneWiki and other disaster wikis going back to the 2004 tsunami, CrisisWiki initially will focus on Haiti-related information. This time, however, the wiki is being designed so that it can easily expand to address future disasters, as well as collect important local, state, national and international emergency preparedness resources before a disaster strikes.
We rolled out a production CrisisWiki instance, hosted by NPR, on Tuesday, January 19 and are developing it into a production site with the help of volunteers, much like yourself. Building upon that initial progress, last Saturday (January 23rd, 2010), our team focused on doing the information design needed to create a semantic system able to sort through all the resources our research team team has been collecting.
The full structure of our working site can be found here. The major categorical headings are as follows:
- Early Response
Additional changes to this structure are inevitable but, in future versions, try to adhere to the file naming structure here - crisiswiki_sitemap_2010_01_23.doc - and identify each new version in succession as they are developed. Share those new versions with others in the Crisiswiki Google Group.
January 30th CrisisCamp Instructions
In the week since we defined the category system, the backend of the crisiswiki site itself has been implemented to the point that we can now create regional wiki's within the system – see here.
So, this weekend we are trying to focus you, the volunteer, on further fleshing out the content of our site. We are asking for anyone with a laptop and some good sleuthing skills to concentrate on fully developing the emergency resource list for a few select cities in the category structure we have defined.
Simply use the onscreen buttons in the CrisisWiki to create new countries, areas and sub-regions and even cities. Each grouping will create tabbed lists that roughly adhere to the sitemap above, so you can easily add resources to the corresponding sections for each region. In doing so, you are building out the most comprehensive disaster resource the world has ever known. Heady stuff, thanks for your help!
Much work has already been done on collecting resources for Haiti but most of that information has been put into the older Hurricane Wiki. If a volunteer is interested, we need to port that information over to the newer CrisisWiki system. Older stuff here.
There is also more Haiti related information that needs to be mined and crossed checked against what is already in the Haiti section of the HurricaneWiki. See the below links for more data to be mined into our system:
For our regional partners around the US, we want to create regional resource centers for every community, so if you have specialty in a certain region, feel free to go into the new crisiswiki and start to create. In particular though, we want to gather additional resources for a few key places, due to their higher than average risk of calamities and so that we can use them as working models for future crisiscamp meetups. They are:
- Washington, DC (WMD-type attack)
- San Francisco, CA (earthquake prone)
- Miami, FL (hurricane zone)
How to Work Together as a Research Team
Now you know what needs to be done – but how to do it? Get a clean browser window open, some type of word processor and get ready to load up with some tabs and text. These are some best practices we have gleaned from hosting the event:
1) Join our IRC chat channel #crisiswiki on freenode.net with your IRC client , or click Freenode Webchat and enter your nickname, or enter irc://irc.freenode.net/crisiswiki into your browser address if you have an IRC browser plugin like ChatZilla. (For related information, see IRC, IRC Tutorial, and Wikipedia.)
2) Join our Google Group- this group is open to everyone participating and acts as our collaborative space for documents and some back and forth communication.
3) Check out the older Hurricane Wiki to see what type of resources we are looking for here. The site is a bit of a mess but just try and ascertain the types of info being sought out here.
4) Familiarize yourself with the new CrisisWiki. It's still young but its starting to crawl now. Soon it will become self-aware.
5) Now you have 4 tabs running in the browser, open a 5th and start hunting. If you are a leader type, take a couple people and organize them into fact finding missions. Target a singular location (say San Francisco for example) and give each member an issue from the sitemap to investigate (maybe shelters and food).
6) If you are having trouble finding stuff specific to your region, think more globally. Start by searching around global governing groups (UN, WFP, Red Cross) to see what they can add. Drill down into NGOs, national government websites, state or regional specific resources, even local and county information will serve a purpose. Don't forget about mission groups, religious affiliations, civic groups, orphanages, etc. The world is literally your oyster here.
8) Remember we also need help porting over existing information from the older Hurricane Wiki into the newer CrisisWiki! Plenty of work to be done there.
9) Have someone in your information gathering cluster report back to the on-site project manager at roughly 90 minute intervals. All project managers must deliver crisiscamp progress reports every couple hours – help them out!
10) Relax and enjoy yourself a bit. Yes, we are doing important work but you are also helping out people when you could just as easily be having some fancy DC brunch. Well done.
The team still needs at least a couple more volunteers experienced with organizing MediaWiki pages and with the Semantic Web extension in order to deploy the wiki in a way that makes it extensible for future disasters. We will also need more researchers to fill in the pages with relevant Haiti information. See the Technical Working Team for more information.
- Andy Carvin: Project Manager, NPR
- Jeff Mace: Developer (
) (CW Jeffmace)
- John Walling: Developer/Spam patrol
- Jared Goralnick: Research/Support (jared@technotheory dot com,
- Zeynep Tufekci: Info Architecture/Dev
- Robb Kidd: Developer (
) (CW Robbkidd)
- Darren: Developer/Design (
- Scott Stead: Scribe/Support (
- Yani Yancey:
- Layla Tadjpour:
- Claire Wudowsky:
- Hunter Whitney (
- Alex Kozak: WikiWorks/Creative Commons (akozak@creativecommons dot org,
- John Serrao: Information Architecture, Front-end Work (
- Mike Russell: Editing, Communications, Natl. InfraGard Coordinator for CrisisCamp (
- CrisisWiki CrisisWiki - Production server - chat happening in talk pages, LOOK!
- CrisisWiki Google Group
- IRC chat channel
- Technical Working Team
- CrisisCamp Portals for US Cities - for Jan 23/24th CC2
- CrisisCamp DC2 Notes
- HurricaneWiki, Deprecated
- Google Doc Resource Entry Form, Deprecated
- SandBox - MediaWiki + Semantic Web extension for experimenting with ontologies
- Google Doc covering Notional Structure, Public
- Google Wave - used to collaborate on Jan 16 and a little after, deprecated