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FEMA Disaster Crowdsourcing Exchange

October 21, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

FEMA Disaster Crowdsourcing Exchange image

Disasters like Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and the California Wildfires have unprecedented impacts on our Nation, but digital volunteers can be a powerful force in helping with the disaster response and recovery efforts!

Come participate in FEMA’s Disaster Crowdsourcing Exchange on Saturday, October 21. Learn about FEMA’s current crowdsourcing coordination efforts, participate in building new projects, experiment with new tools, and shape the future of crowdsourcing in emergency management.

If you are not in DC or cannot come in person, sign up to volunteer remotely. All skill levels and backgrounds are welcome, you don’t need to be a coder to participate in this Hackathon! Just bring a laptop!


Promote and Contribute to Crowdsourcing Projects – Highlight how existing crowdsourcing projects have been used; Encourage contributions to these existing projects; Identify new crowdsourcing projects for current needs.

Experiment with New Crowdsourcing Platforms by using Open Data & Tools – Try out new crowdsourcing tools & approaches; develop quick prototypes to real-world issues, identify use cases with subject matter experts, and use design techniques to improve user experience & accessibility to government data.

Build User and Volunteer Community and Capacity – Engage & network with our users & digital volunteers, creating a “datable” environment to match current needs with skills and resources.


Operationalize Crowdsourcing for Emergency Management
Create a landing page of all crowdsourced maps. Develop standards, processes, and procedures. (Potential Tools: GeoQ, Trello, Slack, Esri CrowdSource Manager)
Outcome: Prototypes of Crowdsourcing Coordination Tools

Crowdsourcing Analysis of Imagery
Create an imagery analysis crowdsourcing tool building from the FEMA imagery analysis tool. Explore using crowdsourced data for machine and deep learning.
Outcome: Enhance the Imagery Analysis Tools

Text Message/SMS Crowdsourcing from the Field
Explore how text messages can be leveraged in crowdsourcing efforts to enhance situational awareness and understand the needs of survivors. (Potential Tools: FrontlineSMS, Textizen, Ushahidi, SMS phone based surveys)
Outcome: Prototypes of SMS tools for collecting survivor needs

Open Street Map (OSM) Mapathon
Join OSM mappers all over the world to provide baseline maps in disaster impacted areas. Great project for newcomers!
Outcome: OSM training and mapping

JOIN SLACK CHANNELhttp://bit.ly/CrowdExSlack


9:30 – 10:00 Registration
10:00 – 10:05 Welcome: Sophia B Liu & Emily Martuscello
10:05 – 10:10 FEMA Office of Response & Recovery
10:10 – 10:15 FEMA OCIO Speaker
10:15 – 10:30 Overview of the Crowdsourcing Efforts
10:15 – 10:20 SBTF & GISCorps: Hospital & Road Map
10:20 – 10:25 HOT OpenStreetMap: Disaster Mapping
10:25 – 10:30 CrowdRescueHQ & NAPSGPR Info Map
10:30 – 10:50 Introduction to Hackathon Projects
10:30 – 10:35 Operationalize Crowdsourcing for EM
10:35 – 10:40 Crowdsourcing Analysis of Imagery
10:40 – 10:45 SMS Crowdsourcing from the Field
10:45 – 10:50 OSM Mapathon
10:50 – 10:55 Goals of Disaster Hackathon
10:55 – 11:00 Surveying the Hackers with Mentimeter
11:00 – 12:30 Find a Project and Start Hacking!
12:30 – 1:30 Lunch (Will order pizza or bring your lunch)
1:30 – 3:00 Continue Hacking!
3:00 – 3:30 Check In and Shout Outs of Progress
3:30 – 4:30 Final Hacking Sprint!
4:30 – 5:00 Project Show-and-Tell and Next Steps
5:00 – 7:00 Happy Hour – 21st Amendment Bar (nearby)


I can’t attend in person, can I still participate?
Yes! Register as a virtual participant. There will be a video conference link and a slack channel for those joining us remotely.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?
Email fema-crowdsourcing@fema.dhs.gov

Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn’t match the person who attends?
Nope. We need everyone to register to get through security.

What should I bring?
Laptop, Ideas, and Lunch to power all the brainstorming!

I can’t attend but still want to participate in future hackathons. Should I still register?
Fill out this survey so you can be notified of upcoming events.


Federal Emergency Management Agency
500 C Street Southwest
Washington, DC 20024 United States
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