OilReporter.org is a system created to channel information from the general public on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. iPhone or Android mobile phone users can download a free app which permits them to report oiled beaches and animals directly from their phones or volunteer to help with the response.
Users are asked to reply to simple questions:
-- What can you see? (Photos or videos can also be uploaded)
-- How much oil do you see (0 is open water, 10 is thick oil)
-- Is there wildlife present? (No wildlife / Alive, no distress / Alive, some
distress / Alive, very distressed / Dead)
-- Impact to the Wetlands (0 is no impact, 10 is severe impact)
The apps also offer a Twitter feed and links to volunteer organizations in Alabama,
Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.
For a general introduction see a CNN video from the morning of Saturday, May 29, 2010:
New app creates mobile oil reporters: Tech expert Mario Armstrong explains how new technology can enable Gulf Coast residents to become mobile oil reporters.
Emergency crowdsourcing applications of this type were deployed successfully
in Haiti after the earthquake earlier this year. Oil Reporter is an initiative
of Crisis Commons, a community of citizen
volunteers, crisis response organizations, international humanitarian relief
agencies, non-profits and private sector organizations that cultivate innovation
in the use of technology for mobility and efficiency during crises.
Click here for Crisis Commons' account of Oil Reporter.
Oil Reporter data is open and available to anyone. Dr. Eric Frost and a team at San Diego State
University’s Visualization Center will be the data repository for
Oil Reporter and will lead a team of academic partners to provide technical
assistance and products to response organizations by request. The apps were
developed by Intridea.