Concerned with colony collapse syndrome in honey bees worldwide, scientists, farmers and tech companies teamed up in Australia to create a micro-sensor that collects data on the bee's environment.Read More
New York City suffered from fires that erupted in overcrowded, run-down apartments. Then the city sleuthed through residential records and found that landlords who foreclosed let their properties fall apart and ignored safety-code violations. Greater Toronto wants to expand upon New York City’s method by using transportation surveys, census data and computer data to build transit lines.Read More
In war zones, people have a difficult time finding clean water and safe areas to inhabit. Social media, smart phones, and technology applications are aiding in people’s survival. In Aleppo, Syria, the International Committee of the Red Cross posted a map on Facebook to show alternative sources of clean drinking water that reached approximately 140,000 people.Read More
After typhoon Haiyan, the devastation to the Philippines was hard to locate and track. The Red Cross staffed volunteers to sort through crowd-sourced data to create maps. The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap software application has helped the Red Cross better organize search and rescue operations.Read More
With human injustices affecting people on the streets around the world, camera phones have become important tools to document crimes. However, the video may not adequately capture the crime to be persuasive in court. The global organization WITNESS has formed as Video As Evidence Program to instruct citizens how to best document crimes with their cameras so that the evidence will stand in court.Read More
Whenever there’s a natural catastrophe, a team of “crisis mappers” activate around the world. These volunteers use crowdsourcing tools to turn satellite data into digital maps, which are then used to make decisions on the ground, enabling rescuers to deliver food, shelter, and supplies to areas that need them most.Read More
For urban residents, participation in city-planning often means navigating complex administrative bureaucracy and struggling through a lack of transparency, but in New York City, efforts are being made to engage citizens in the renewal (and preservation) of Brownsville, Brooklyn. The city’s Housing Department has worked with the online platform coUrbanize to facilitate community-sourced ideas for the future via text. These residents’ responses are then inputted into a publicly-accessible map, which the city has pledged to incorporate into its planning -- a commendable effort at civic participation, local control, and transparency in government.Read More
The Kentucky metro area has some of the worst air quality in the country, leading to concerning rates of asthma and respiratory disease well above the national averages. But a group called AIR Louisville has implemented a creative, crowdsourced solution that utilizes GPS-enabled inhalers to help patients identify and address asthma patterns based on numerous factors such as avoiding heavily-polluted parts of town, and identifying the best treatments based on lifestyle needs.Read More
The amount of plastic debris in our oceans and water sources - especially nanoplastics that are increasingly prevalent in our food chain - is so enormous it's often beyond comprehension, and immensely difficult to address. As countries continue to industrialize and single-use products become more commonplace, the flow of harmful plastics into the environment seems insurmountable. But a number of clever inventions and dedicated individuals are working to help get plastics out of our water - and more importantly - encourage practices to reduce, reuse, and recycle.Read More
In the Mumbai slum of Dharavi, an NGO called Society for Nutrition, Education & Health Action (SNEHA) is working to make life safer by teaching men the importance of not being violent towards women. Through an app called Eyewatch, community members are able to document acts of domestic violence, which helps SNEHA team members locate victims and their abusers.Read More
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