Scalable crisis relief: Crowdsourced SMS translation and categorization with Mission 4636

Vaughn Hester*, Aaron Shaw, Lukas Biewald

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Crowdsourced crisis response harnesses distributed networks of humans in combination with information and communication technology (ICT) to create scalable, flexible and rapid communication systems that promote well-being, survival, and recovery during the acute phase of an emergency. In this paper, we analyze a recent experience in which CrowdFlower conducted crowdsourced translation, categorization and geo-tagging for SMS-based reporting as part of Mission 4636 after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010. We discuss CrowdFlower's approach to this task, lessons learned from the experience, and opportunities to generalize the techniques and technologies involved for other ICT for development (ICTD) applications. We find that CrowdFlower's most significant contribution to Mission 4636 and to the broader field of crowdsourced crisis relief lies in the flexible, scalable nature of the pool of earthquake survivors, volunteers, workers, and machines that the organization engaged during the emergency response efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 1st ACM Symposium on Computing for Development, DEV 2010
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
Event1st ACM Symposium on Computing for Development, DEV 2010 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: Dec 17 2010Dec 18 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 1st ACM Symposium on Computing for Development, DEV 2010

Other

Other1st ACM Symposium on Computing for Development, DEV 2010
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period12/17/1012/18/10

Keywords

  • Crisis response
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Development
  • Geolocation
  • Haiti
  • Human computation
  • ICTD
  • Translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications

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