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Saturday, January 19, 2008

InSTEDD Directory - "Who's Doing What Where?"

Innovative Support to Emergencies, Diseases, and Disasters (InSTEDD) is a non-profit company which was originally started by Google.org. InSTEDD is "all about humanitarian collaboration through technology innovation." Their main area of focus is analysing and assisting with reoccurring issues for individuals involved with disease tracking and disaster response. Their goal is to take what they've learned from individual situations and use the latest technlogy to build up the capacities of all response organizations across the board.

One of InSTEDD's current initiatives is a preview version of a contacts nearby application, also known as the InSTEDD Directory. The initiative is best described as a "Who's doing what where?" program for use during emergency situations.

A listed example is - "You need to coordinate activities with others working in the same region but you can't find out, in timely and accurate fashion, who is involved in the response, what organization(s) they represent, the nature of their participation, how to contact them, what they are doing, and where they are relative to your location."

The directory combines SMS text messages, FaceBook, Twitter, and Google Maps into one working interface.

Also be sure to check out InSTEDD's Golden Shadow Demonstration in which they brought together the public and emergency workers to put their applications to the test within their local community.