RELIEF 12-02 Camp Roberts Newsletter (February 2012)
Dr. Ray Buettner, Tristan Allen
RELIEF 12-2 brought more than 70 participants tackling ongoing problems involving communications and information sharing during humanitarian emergencies. Concurrent with technological experimentation a small team of experts joined RELIEF for a two-day discussion of how to rethink the deployment of physical infra-structures (e.g. power, water, shelter, etc.) during village stability operations.
Additionally, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, the US Agency for International Development-Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, and the State Department's Humanitari-an Information Unit continued the exploration of how to release commercial satellite image-ry to digital volunteers like OpenStreetMap. The February experiments gave us first glimps-es into a technology that have evolved (in part) as a result of RELIEF—that is, received funds based on work that had been performed in the field environment. We were excited to see the alpha version of Field Papers, a project that enables teams to print out maps and to scan annotations directly back into GIS systems via their cell phone cameras. Field Papers used the RELIEF platform to expand the functionality in its predecessor (Walking Papers). Using funding from Rapid Reaction Technology Office, the project has add-ed Ushahidi crowdsourcing integration and revamped its backend.
Cellular technologies continued mashups involving crowdsourcing, including integration be-tween MedWeb (a telemedicine platform on 40 grey hulls), Tethr and OpenBTS. A new Joint Concept Technology Demonstration called ROGUE—an open-source, unclassified platform that will connect the DoD more effectively with volunteered geographic infor-mation-had an opportunity to work directly with the vendor, OpenGeo, to explore integra-tion with both the DOE's RaptorX situational awareness platform and Field Papers.
The emergency command and control team and Stalker teams from Lockheed Martin were joined by smaller organizations with new technologies, including the Gatewing small survey UAV, MutualLink's VPN/peer-to-peer communications tools, and NPS Remote Sensing Cen-ter’s Field Spectroscopy and Aerial LIDAR experiments.