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    disasters and other weather related events that pose a threat to human life and property UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon speaking at the Telecom World 2009 in Geneva also highlighted the role of ICTs in addressing key issues including natural disaster reduction The UN Secretary General s statement echoes the paradigm shift in Disaster Management mentioned in the 2005 presentation by Sujit Mohanty namely From relief and recovery to risk vulnerability management Introducing culture of preparedness at all levels Strengthen decentralised response capacity in the country Empowerment of vulnerable groups and ensuring livelihoods Learning from past disasters In the aftermaths of large scale natural calamities such as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and Hurricane Katrina in 2005 the world was forced to wake up to the need for coordinated and collaborative harnessing of the power of ICT systems in managing natural disasters Paul Currion in humanitarian info goes on to talk about the first responders of the wired world netizens who spring to action to fill in information gaps that the governments of the respective countries and even the traditional media often struggle to fill However given the high influx of information post Katrina it was soon apparent that multiple data streams would be more effective if they were collated consolidated and served from a more centralised platform Thus we saw initiatives such as the Katrina PeopleFinder Project and the Katrina Help Wiki come into play In India the 2004 tsunami was a clarion call for the government NGOs and the civil society to effect a paradigm shift In this context it would not be unfair to say that the South East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami SEA EAT blog set up during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was a trendsetter of sorts the first project of its kind that demonstrated the power of engaging ordinary people effectively to channel information in order to bridge the gap between those who needed help and those who had help to offer While the SEA EAT blog focused on keeping the information flowing the Sahana FOSS Disaster Management System in Sri Lanka functioned as a more structured holistic system that helped manage the large scale of the disaster of 2004 The project was deployed by the Sri Lankan government s Center of National Operations CNO which included the Center of Humanitarian Agencies CHA Generalised later for global use Sahana has now grown to become a globally recognised project with deployments in many other disasters such as the South Asian earthquake in Pakistan 2005 Southern Leyte Mudslide Disaster in Phillipines 2006 the Jogjarkata Earthquake in Indonesia 2006 the Peru Earthquake 2007 the Myanmar Cyclone 2008 etc In 2005 Michael Gurstein of the New Jersey Institute of Technology wrote his reflections on the web based initiatives and what he perceived as the need gaps in these situations In India the 2004 tsunami was a clarion call for the government NGOs and the civil society to effect a paradigm shift and realise that preparedness was the

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/comments/harnessing-ict-systems-for-managing-natural-disaster/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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    of fires here Remote sensing can help polar orbiting satellites in particular such as MODIS moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer are very accurate and can locate burning fires to about 200m precision four times a day This is not quite good enough for early warning what if there is a cloud covering the fire when the satellite passes overhead or a fire starts just after it has gone The problem for fire management is how to get this information into the hands of disaster managers firefighters farmers and forest managers That s when data from geostationary satellites step in Meteosat second generation weather satellites offer coarser 3km and less sensitive fire information but they provide it every 15 minutes They won t pick up very small fires but as far as disaster management goes those aren t the ones we re interested in The problem for fire management then is how to get this information into the hands of disaster managers firefighters farmers and forest managers who need warnings of where a fire is and where it s heading Fire alerts by phone In South Africa the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research CSIR has developed the Advanced Fire Information System AFIS to do just this The system combines satellite data with mobile phone technology to provide crucial early warnings It uses both MODIS and Meteosat data to detect hotspots compares these with background temperatures to filter out non fires such as chimney stacks and uses wind vector information to work out the trajectory of active fires It then automatically alerts people via email and text message AFIS was originally developed for Eskom South Africa s largest power company to help combat line faults caused by fires But since 2007 it has also been used to improve broader fire fighting efforts For example it sends alerts to more than 40 fire protection associations across the country and forms part of the weekly weather forecast on national television The service is completely free and anyone can sign up to receive alerts within their area So for example AFIS is alerting farmer conservancies self organised groups that take on fire management responsibilities and pool fire fighting efforts And it is also helping poverty alleviation efforts For example the government funded Working on Fire WoF project includes AFIS when working with rural communities WoF offers technical training in fire fighting and safety as well as organisational training in how to set up a commercial fire response team and notify people of the service The teams it trains fulfill a seasonal need for fire protection while generating income for rural communities Spreading like wildfire AFIS has clearly improved fire management in South Africa Two questions remain First can the idea be exported to other countries In theory yes indeed it should be easy to export AFIS at least in its basic form The technology is there even in some of the remotest parts of Africa people have access to mobile phones Not much technical expertise

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/comments/preventing-spread-of-forest-fires-using-satellites-and-phones/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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    by NGO Jagori and OneWorld South Asia the children are being trained to prepare radio programmes and digital video films on social issues from their own community and neighbourhood areas There s pin drop silence inside the studio and 15 year old Geeta a Class X student from Madanpur Khadar area watches intently as the recorded script is edited She has been closely involved with the scriptwriting Rama also a Class X student from Khadar delivers the dialogues assigned to her at just the right pace Inarguably though the show stealer turns out to be Rahul with his ability to intelligently elaborate on the subject of child marriage along with its legal implications As the recording gets over the uninhibited three step out to talk of their radio experience Geeta points that at the Jagori centre in Khadar boys and girls get together and think of relevant issues that need awareness building and policy change The current issue was chosen as the group had heard of child marriages in Khadar Rama reveals that two of her friends roughly her age have already been married off and to prevent any speculation their parents insist that the girls are 18 years old Rahul is quick to add that a family in his neighbourhood quietly married their five year old son as part of tradition to a girl the same age The girl lived with her parents and later died in a road accident We want this to stop To be married off at such a tender age is bad for both the girl and the boy They will not be able to study or evolve after that says Rahul who has already started picking up the technicalities of production While radio is exciting Rahul dreams of nothing but cricket On being asked

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/teens-go-on-air-against-child-marriage-in-indian-capital/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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    For one there s Bing s Streetside paralleling Google s Street View feature which allows users to take a virtual walk through any city street with a 360 degree panorama of the surrounding buildings and landmarks Both Bing s and Google s applications are almost identical But those taking a stroll via Bing Streetside will have the ability to move with a special light speed feature that blurs the passing scenery as well as zoom in and out on specific locations Users will also have access to vector information drawn into the images illustrating street direction and street names hovering above the streets Specifically Bing relies on Microsoft s Photosynth technology an application that integrates numerous photos into a 3 D montage that gives users the sense that they re walking into their images Bing users can then rotate the comprehensive image to view details from various three dimensional vantages Bing s Streetside is coupled with its new Enhanced Bird s Eye feature which gives the user an aerial view of the chosen location Enhanced Bird s Eye is automatically adjusted based on whether the user is viewing an urban landscape or a rural one Bing also comes with a new Applications Gallery a catalogue designed to streamline searches and bookmark favourite applications built within Bing Maps Users can peruse applications or local content sources associated with cities and a few specific neighbourhoods on Bing Maps or search map based news articles Additionally the Application Gallery provides the user with a series of map overlays allowing them to perform multiple searches by adding different content layers to the map at once including tweets local blogs business listings and Photosynth enabling users to add various applications to their maps at their discretion One drawback however is that Bing Streetside doesn t

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/microsoft-unveils-bing-maps-beta/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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    boost the capacity and footprint of research networking in Related topics regions Information NASA and others seek ways to save forests Space agencies governments and Google Inc have entered in a new partnership to save the forests in tropical countries Satellite images received via Google Related topics regions Information Traditional media and internet are part of same ecosystem say experts Siddharth Varadarajan Editor of India s leading daily The Hindu said traditional media and new media being part of the same ecosystem should not be Related topics regions Internet Embedded sensors in mobiles to monitor asthma A unique mobile phone prototype to check asthma has been launched by Applied Nanodetectors a UK based company Carbon nanotube and silicon based sensors Related topics regions Health Assessing ICT4D performance in the Asia Pacific The recently launched b i Digital Review of Asia Pacific 2009 2010 i b is a comprehensive guide to the state of practice and trends in information and Related topics regions ICTs Wikipedia struggles between credibility and openness In a move to gain credibility investors are breaking away from the earlier model of unrestricted entries to make the site more accountable Illegitimate Related topics regions Access to knowledge Chinese scientists develop cheap e notebook for the blind According to the World Health Organisation WHO there are around 39 million blind people in the world Related topics regions ICT Emerging Voices in ICT and Agriculture This booklet published by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation CTA African Caribbean and Pacific ACP European Union EU Related topics regions ICT India s traffic dept embarks on e records drive India s Transport Department has launched an initiative to prepare a national e register for vehicles and licences that will be accessible anywhere in the Related topics regions E Governance Mobiles can promote financial inclusion President D B Byron Vielehr President International and Global Operations of Dun Bradstreet the 171 year old provider of business data and risk management services in Related topics regions Mobiles Smart Box for remote villagers in Thailand In an attempt to increase national accessibility to government information and services Electronic Government Agency EGA Thailand will introduce Smart Box Related topics regions Agriculture Radio boosts profits for farmers in Bolivia A radio broadcast supported by the IICD is helping farmers in Bolivia get a better price for their produce by equipping them with crop price updates on a daily Related topics regions Agriculture FAO launches portal on animal welfare FAO has launched a new web portal to facilitate a single access point for international and national information related to farm animal welfare Policymakers Related topics regions Internet Information sharing vital for emergency response The Disaster Relief 2 0 report looks at the aftermath of the Haiti quake and recommends how the humanitarian aid community can work with volunteers and Related topics regions Information Million dollar e health boost for Rwanda Rwanda s Ministry of Health has unveiled a 32m plan for making healthcare services delivery effective through

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/search?b_start:int=30&Subject:list=Information (2016-02-17)
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    Related topics regions Mobiles Singapore launches map based crowdsourcing of information from public Singapore goes hi tech yet again with launch of a new set of map based tools by the Singapore Land Authority to facilitate crowd sourcing whereby NGOs and Related topics regions Innovations Mobiles offer a glimmer of hope to farmers Mobile phones along with the mobile enabled services are contributing significantly in empowering farmers in India writes b Gaurav Tripathi b researcher Related topics regions Information Single Universal Identification for all Indians by Early 2010 Indians are set to benefit from a unique identity UID number that will be assigned to them as a permanent identifier through life obviating the need for Related topics regions E Governance Using WiFi Nepal village goes online Once without a telephone line and in the grip of insurgency a remote village in western Nepal stands transformed A local visionary s efforts with a home WiFi Related topics regions Innovations Web tool as important as Google A web tool that could be as important as Google according to some experts has been shown off to the public Wolfram Alpha a free program will answer Related topics regions Innovations Delivering an extra message Specially developed open source software enables a South African project to send millions of targeted health messages to mobile phones users across the country Related topics regions Information Mobiles boost Africa climate data Wide gaps in weather and climate data across Africa may be addressed by unique mobile phone tower mounted weather stations that are being set up in partnership Related topics regions ICTs Preserving our digitised heritage A Japanese research team has proposed storing data on semiconductor memory chips made of silicon that will make information as resilient as if it were set in Related topics regions Innovations Rights activists seek online privacy tools for protection Human rights activists are looking towards a new generation of web tools for anonymity and security The use of Tor has increased in China and Iran as its Related topics regions ICTs New technology helps track drug shortage in Kenya Out of stock medicines in Kenya can now be tracked using a new combo technology called Frontline Ushahidi By sending text messages to an online mapping Related topics regions New Media UID in India A number that walks with you Chairman of Unique Identification Authority in India Nandan Nilekani says the project has many significant benefits for the poor Despite risks of hacking and Related topics regions E Governance India s new satellite to monitor oceans Oceansat 2 the country s second ocean studies satellite was launched this week to keep watch over the seas and study changes in the earth s atmosphere With Related topics regions India Rescue online for Haiti victims New media tools and social networking sites have come to play critical role in disaster relief and information dissemination in quake hit Haiti With satellite Related topics regions Disaster Management Small nation big effort Small is no obstacle to do

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/search?b_start:int=60&Subject:list=Information (2016-02-17)
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    enriching coastal regions in India An information hub set up by an NGO in south India is aiding fishing communities with alert messages on maritime changes availability and trade of fish Related topics regions Information Weather station network to serve South Asia The Indian Meteorological Department will set up 50 stations across South Asia to monitor the carbon emissions by individual countries in the region Indian Related topics regions Information Scale up IT initiatives to reach rural poor Indian minister Stressing on the need to take digital technology to as many people as possible in the rural areas of India Minister of State for Communications and Related topics regions E Governance Arab region making inroads for women in technology A major partnership between key business and a technology firms aims to draw Arab women into technical fields and empower them to become future technology Related topics regions Information Community radio has given a voice to rural India The decade old community radio movement in India has a lot to learn from the countries in Africa which had begun to establish and run their radio stations in Related topics regions ICT ESCAP and UNITAR for using geospatial information for disaster risk

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/search?b_start:int=90&Subject:list=Information (2016-02-17)
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    s non profit effort With the needs of its beneficiaries in mind the original XO was designed to be a durable low energy and cost efficient laptop accessible to schoolchildren and responsive to their environment Perhaps not the most aesthetically pleasing laptop to hit the market the XO took into consideration more pressing concerns such as extreme environmental conditions and the importance of long range wireless capability But plans for flashy additions to the latest and greatest XO have garnered obvious interest among citizens of the developed world and it is becoming increasingly uncertain for whom this laptop is truly intended Basing his endeavor on the core principle of education as a fundamental human right and seeking to provide adequate resources for achieving this education Negroponte envisioned a programme that would provide children in developing countries with basic access to an increasingly inter connected and digital world This programme has strong merit We are living right smack in the middle of the digital age and the notion of an integrated and educated world community without access to computer and Internet technology is unfathomable Internet communication is now the fastest and most popular way to interact internationally the sheer speed at which information flows has the damaging potential to leave those without access in the dust By placing laptops in the hands of needy children worldwide OLPC seeks to free them from the crippling cycle of world poverty and allow them to further their education and shape their future So far OLPC has successfully distributed laptops worldwide Expansion of the program to the South Pacific Ethiopia Rwanda the Middle East and Uruguay indicates its growing popularity among its targeted recipients and more importantly programme funders But for all the advances in the XO 3 laptop s technology and OLPC s scope

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/comments/auditing-one-laptop-per-child/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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