Crisis mapping in action: How open source software and global volunteer networks are changing the world, one map at a time

Patrick Meier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

76 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to share the stories behind some extraordinary mapslive crisis maps. The paper begins by investigating what types of live communication technologies existed prior to social media technologies. The development of live crisis maps is then discussed, beginning with the Ushahidi project, which utilized live collaborative mapping during post-election violence in Kenya in 2008. Via examples from Haiti, Japan, Libya, and Somalia, the impact of social media technologies on mapping and crisis response will become clear. Each of these maps helps to inspire and revolutionize many aspects of humanitarian response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-100
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Map and Geography Libraries
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2012
Externally publishedYes



  • Arab Spring
  • crisis mapping
  • GI
  • human networks
  • human sensors
  • humanitarian
  • mapping
  • social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences

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