Hacking to Support Disaster Response; Using web and Social Media technologies in Emergencies


4 September 2012

A two day hackathon, is being hosted at Aston University, 21st – 23rd September 2012.

The event will allow participants to work together to develop software and solutions to real-world problems faced by emergency management experts.  h4d2 is being held as part of the Disaster 2.0 project exploring how European Governments currently and can potentially use Web 2.0 applications and Semantic Technologies in disaster response.  

Recent disasters such as the earthquakes in Haiti and Japan have highlighted how social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Ushahidi) and Web 2.0 technologies as well as the increasing availability of publicly available structured data are beginning to affect all aspects of disaster management.  

h4d2 focuses specifically on how structured data (open data, linked data) available from a variety of sources and data available via social media can be used to solve the various problems emergency managers face during disasters.   Participants will be working in groups to produce solutions that will be judged with prizes awarded for the most innovative ideas.

During the event participants will work on multiple projects which have been selected by industry experts, including; ‘Drupal’ modules to collect geolocated data and allow users to create forms to upload data, a module for ‘Sahana’ allowing the integration of live feed information, an android app for mapping and reporting disaster information and a profile-system for establishing trust of social-media data sources.

The €950,000 project is funded by the ‘Prevention, preparedness and consequence management of terrorism and other security-related risks’ programme, European Commission – Directorate-Home Affairs, Aston University and The University of Warwick. 

Dr Christopher Brewster, Principal Investigator of Disaster 2.0, said:  “h4d2 is an excellent opportunity for emergency management experts and software developers to collaborate and develop solutions that will have practical benefits for disaster response.   I would like to thank the European Commission for their financial support which has enabled us to hold h4d2.” 

For more information visit the h4d2 website or  register for the event .  Twitter updates are available at #h4d2. 

Aston University Warwick EU Commission