IRL and Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda

Late last week Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda struck the Philippines. With wind speeds up to 315km/h (195mph), reports are saying that it was the strongest tropical cyclone to ever make landfall. Over 1,500 people are feared to have been killed and over half a million individuals have been displaced. As humanitarian agencies and foreign aid have begun to enter the devastated nation, others have been helping out in another manner.

The Standby Volunteer Task Force (SBTF), with the help of other volunteers, is hard at work tagging tweets and images from the Philippines for a rapid needs & damage assessment, as requested by the Digital Humanitarian Network (DHN) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

They are using two apps created by MicroMappers, TweetClicker and ImageClicker, to help with this process, both of which are open for anyone to use. The latter has already been used to tag over 7,000 images and the combined result can be seen at this interactive map.

This is directly the effort which the Internet Response League aims to help out. While the numbers that these two apps are seeing are amazing, they could be much better. The earlier and more complete that these maps are made, the more good that they can do. We need your help to help bring the Internet Response League to gamers everywhere. Wouldn’t you want to be able to say that your online gaming community was directly involved in aiding relief efforts during one of this year’s biggest disasters?

Additionally, if you have the time to spare, please use the above links to help out tagging tweets and images. The effort is still ongoing!

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