Peter over at The Road to the Horizon Tweeted earlier that Al Jazeera is using Ushahidi to track events in the Israel-Gaza conflict. The Ushahidi blog has the details but here is an excerpt:
It made sense that Al Jazeera’s new media team got in touch with us via Twitter – email and Skype came later. A week ago they asked us for the alpha code to see what they could do with it around the recent activity in Gaza. This was the first time a non-Ushahidi team had deployed the alpha-level software. You can see it at http://labs.aljazeera.net/warongaza.
Instructions from Riyaad on the Al Jazeera team:
“If you’re anywhere in the world and an event is taking place to do with #gaza #israel send a text to: +45609910303 – Start it with GAZA.” You can also, SMS 37191 / +45609910303 – Twitter: @ajgaza
UPDATE: You can also follow Al Jazeera’s Gaza conflict Twitter feed @ajgaza
I have spent so much time writing about it but not actually Twittering. Now you can find me under my blog name: aidworkerdaily
I’ll see if I can manage to pump out a few Tweets on a regular basis. Who knows? Maybe I’ll become as addicted to Twitter as CNN’s Rick Sanchez.
Posted in Apps
Previously, we mentioned Yammer as a possible tool for corporate or organizational communications for emergency response scenarios. Now there is Present.ly which apparently ‘means right now’ and which has recently entered the corporate Twitter arena. Check the vid, take the tour, use it and let us know. Thanks TechCrunch for the heads up!
Posted in Apps
Tagged SMS, Twitter
While I am still not sure what a ‘campaign’ is I do think it is pretty cool that you can generate social QR Codes for your Twitter feeds. While Insqribe lets you do this after establishing an account Snappr.net, which I highlighted a few posts back, lets you do all this with no limit on the number of codes you can generate. But, hey, let’s give Insqribe a chance to prove their worth.
Posted in Apps
Tagged QR Codes, Twitter
TechCrunch‘s Erik Schonfeld writes that Yammer has taken top prize at TechCrunch50. Yammer is Twitter for internal corporate communications. Could this serve as a useful tool for aid agencies looking to disseminate information quickly and efficiently at the onset of an emergency? Watch the VIDEO.
Posted in Apps
Over at TechCrunch, Jason Kincaid has a nice big write-up on the public release of Yahoo’s Fire Eagle.
SPOT was offering Beta invites but it looks like those will no longer be needed. If you are looking for things to do with Fire Eagle and you own a SPOT be sure to read about how to hook up Fire Eagle to your SPOT and Twitter.
For all you road warriors out there this one might prove useful. TechCrunch has a story about a new release from Mozilla Labs called Snowl:
“Mozilla Labs announced a new project today called Snowl. It is an add-on for Firefox that aims to bring all of your messages together in one place, whether it is from email, SMS, Twitter, or RSS/Atom feeds. The project right now is an early, buggy prototype that only supports RSS/Atom feeds and Twitter. So that is nothing special.”
Evan Henshaw-Plath, a.ka. Rabble, wrote to let me know that he has linked his SPOT to Twitter via Yahoo’s Fire Eagle. (You catch him on Twitter under his alias.) Check out this Twitter post:
rabble “Fire Eagle last spotted you 14 minutes ago at xxx NW Gxxxxx St, Portland, OR using SPOT Satellite Messenger. ” So cool. It Works
SPOT is a personal locator tool which uses GPS to find you and then uses a satellite network to send your location to folks that are following you. The data is a available in a variety of formats (GPX, GeoRSS and KML) and can easily be sent out via email, SMS or RSS.
Yahoo’s Fire Eagle is “the secure and stylish way to share your location with sites and services online while giving you unprecedented control over your data and privacy.” If you haven’t signed up for a Beta invite yet please do so here. Evan had a hand in creating Fire Eagle as well as Twitter. You can watch him here talking about Fire Eagle at eComm 2008:
By directing Fire Eagle to route his SPOT tracks to Twitter Evan can keep his followers informed of his whereabouts at all times. Evan also said that SPOT works just fine in a backpack so there should be no line-of-sight issues.
It makes me wonder if all the climbers on K2 (that I wrote about yesterday here) were carrying SPOT’s and had them set-up so that their teammates could follow them would more of them have survived? There are so many factors to consider that there cannot be one simple answer. We do know that one person survived thanks to the fact that they could identify and send their location via their Thuraya satellite phone.
This is the type of resourcefulness that I love to hear about. While the SPOT isn’t cheap at $169.99 it is unique in it’s abilities and if you are running off to the bush, and you are in a permissive environment, you might consider throwing one in your bag. Fire Eagle and Twitter are both free to use so once you’ve paid the upfront costs you can enable your entire network of friends and associates to follow your every move.
Posted in Gadgets
Tagged Fire Eagle, GeoRSS, GPS, KML, satellite, SMS, SPOT, telecommunications, Thuraya, Twitter, Yahoo
As a follow-up to the last post here is a news update on the climbers in Pakistan. Apparently, one climber was saved thanks to his ability to access GPS coordinates on his Thuraya. I am not certain how the coordinates were used but it seems as if he may have been sending his coordinates to his fellow climbers via SMS.
11:32 pm CDT Aug 02, 2008
(K2Climb.net) Norit expedition leader Dutch Wilco Van Rooijen has incredibly survived 3 nights exposure on the high slopes of K2.
He is currently in Camp 3, together with Cas and Pemba Sherpa. Yesterday, Wilco was located between camp 4 and 3 on the Cesen route thanks to GPS coordinates on his Thuraya sat phone, and later people in BC spotted him coming down very slowly under his own power.
It is for this very reason that I blogged about Twittering from Thuraya some months ago. The more easily people in the field can relay there location back to their support team the better.
Posted in News
Tagged GPS, SMS, Thuraya, Twitter
I just wanted to let you all know that we are working hard on building out InSTEDD’s GeoChat platform to bring you a viable Twitter-like solution for sat phone users. I was introduced to Eduardo Jezierski and Daniel Cazzulino of InSTEDD through Evan, Mikel, Schuyler and Jesse (Many thanks to you all!) on Wednesday and since that time we have been working steadily to create a tool that will allow any Thuraya user to send their GPS coordinates via SMS and have it arrive as attachment in a designated recipient’s inbox. Daniel and Eduardo have been doing an amazing job and within 24hrs they had the server end up and running. As soon as we have something viable I will be sure to let you all know.
In the mean time check out http://www.teddster.org/ to get a taste of things to come.