Disaster-relief Computing

The field of disaster-relief computing has just begun to emerge. Its most recent application has been with Hurricane Sandy. After a disaster occurs, the need for data and information is imperative. Victims of the disaster need information about when relief is going to arrive; the relief needs information about where the victims are located and what aid they need. The friends and families of victims need to be informed about the whereabouts of their loved ones.

This data is available, but needs to be organized into useful information. During and after a disaster, blogs, social media sites, and other websites are filled with data regarding the disaster, from different people, all across the Internet. The means of organizing it is the issue. According to Dr. Edward Fox, “’There is an enormous amount of data available but it’s scattered.’” This is where computing comes into play.

Fox leads a team that created Crisis, Tragedy and Recovery Network, which strive to organize the scattered data and store it to ensure that the same mistakes are not made during the next disaster.

Similarly, the idea of cloud computing has been mentioned in order to provide real-time processing of information to rescuers during a disaster and other workers, such as engineers, after a disaster.

However, what happens when there is a loss of electricity? How does communication work then?

The disaster-relief computing field is just beginning to emerge. Although there seems to be several issues of how the field will be a success, we are on our way with the access to databases of Big Data and projects that are contributing to the need for digital aid.

To read the full article on disaster-relief computing, you can access it here: http://txchnologist.com/post/36135429518/a-few-bits-of-help-computing-for-disasters

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