Crisis Data Management

Crisismapping Meetups Jan-Feb 2014

[Cross-posted from OpenCrisis.org] This weekend is going to be a busy one for in-person crisismapping events: Digital Humanitarian Training is launching its first meetup in New York, and the Digital Humanitarian Network is running its first in-person meeting in Boston USA (they’re both on our shiny new crisismapping calendar). As someone who dedicated years to helping crisiscamps around the world and the CrisismappersNYC meetup (spawned from the CrisisCampNY meetups), this makes me both nostalgic and hopeful at the same time. I’m nostalgic because even the most collaborative groups like CrisisCamp London & Crisismappers NYC are difficult to keep going from a distance (e.g. if you find yourself working 3500 miles from London or even 50 from NYC). Though distance may be short on the map, no amount of tech can fit the enormous gap of quality in meeting-people time. Keeping people engaged in training on crisis mapping, connecting them to other mappers in…

Software

Software as Craft

I’ve been doing ABC (“always be coding”) lately. I also admired an Icelandic sweater at the CTO Club yesterday. And it got me thinking about the connections between the two. Mathematics and knitting have a long history together (spoiler alert: I accidentally opened my birthday presents from my sister early: thank you so much AJ for Making Maths with Needlework and Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes), and early hackers like Babbage reused equipment (e.g. punched cards) from the textile industries for their code.  But I’m not sure whether creating an app has been described in terms of knitting a sweater before. So here goes. We have the basic knitting stitches (stockinette, garter, ribs etc) – these to me are like the languages in computer science (Ruby, Python etc).  Each of them is composed of smaller things (individual stitches/if statements, themselves created from lengths of wool/characters) which can themselves be more or…