The Coordinated Assessment Support Section in the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) activated the Digital Humanitarian Network (DHN) on December 5th at 3PM Geneva time (9am New York). The request was to collect all relevant social media posts about Typhoon Pablo posted on December 4th and 5th which included pictures or videos of damage/flooding. The request also required that they be geo-located, time-stamped and categorized into OCHA-defined categories. The UN requested that this data be shared with them by 5AM Geneva time the following day.
To accomplish this task, Humanity Road (HR) and the Standby Volunteer TaskForce (SBTF) came together to form a solution team. By 4:55AM the team had curated approximately 20,00 social media messages and compiled the results into a Google document for OCHA.
The data was returned to OCHA and they created several products including the following:
For more details on the process and details of the two entities' response, kindly see HR's blog post UNOCHA DHN Pablo Summary, iRevolution post Summary: Digital Disaster Response to Philippine Typhoon, and How the UN Used Social Media in Response to Typhoon Pablo.
A special thanks goes out to the volunteers who made this effort possible (HR volunteers and SBTF Volunteers). A few of the volunteers happened to be at the United Nations International Expert Meeting on Crowdsource Mapping ... and quickly stepped out to work on the deployment (picture below)