October 24, 2013 | 0 comments

Why is crisis mapping so popular? To understand the popularity, we have to look at when “mapping” was first popularized in the Haiti earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010. Prior to Haiti, crisis mapping did exist, but primarily with the resources and motivations of National Geographic only. To support the response effort, a group of “mappers” nowhere near the earthquake used an open source tool, called Ushahidi, to begin mapping tweets and other information collected from the Internet to provide better situational awareness. At one point, Craig Fugate, the administrator of FEMA, praised the Haiti crisis map as “the most comprehensive and up-to-date map available.” More:

October 24, 2013 | 0 comments

Former NASA Architect Garret Finney has just unveiled the FireFly, a trailer that's even more compact and utilitarian than its predecessor, the Cricket. With its super-efficient and lightweight design, this tiny trailer is a minimalist and robust mini home. Using aerospace engineering techniques, Finney’s team of builders designed a rugged yet lightweight exoskeleton assembled from laser-cut sheets of bent sheet aluminum and high R-value composite insulation panels with foam cores wrapped in a thin aluminum skin line the siding of the bunker. The completed prototype, which was assembled in TAXA’s Houston manufacturing facility, weighs in at just over 600 pounds. In addition to outdoor adventures, Finney envisions that Firefly could be used in industrial or disaster-relief zones as temporary base camps in inhospitable areas.
The second-generation prototype is scheduled to launch early next year:

October 24, 2013 | 0 comments

Designed by JYA-RCHITECTS in the small village of Jangheung town in the southeastern province of South Korea, this Low Cost House provides shelter for a family of seven. The architects used shipping containers and light gauge framing to offer an inspiring example of how green design can overcome even the tight budget:

October 23, 2013 | 0 comments

Fondation Énergies pour le Monde (Energy for the World Foundation), an organization that promotes clean energy in developing countries, has completed the installation of a concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) system in Ambondro, southern Madagascar. The CPV system was also combined with existing wind turbines in the village, with project partner Sunidarity claiming it is the first decentralized rural electrification operation of its kind in Madagascar:

October 22, 2013 | 0 comments

In the event of future emergencies that may strike San Francisco, the city plans to launch a new online crisis map with real-time displays of affected areas so residents can respond appropriately. The map, dubbed Crisis Mode, is currently running live in conjunction with SF72 – a new open source digital platform that provides online resources and updates for emergency preparedness – and was developed by, the search engine's charitable arm. In the event of a city emergency, the crisis map becomes the home page of SF72: