Monday, December 30, 2013

Top 10 #smem technologies: at number 4 ...GPS

I hear the cries now ... How can GPS be a social media technology ? Well, that's when I bring up the fact that "social convergence in emergency management" is actually a better moniker than "social media in emergency management". What makes this revolution possible in the world of disaster management is actually much broader than social networks.

So, my rationale for my choice of the #4 technology that enables this seismic change is the same one that made the crisis mapping platform the obvious number 5 choice: pinpointing information on a map is a priceless support to effective decision-making in an emergency.

We are far removed from the birth of the Global Positioning System's as a military tech ...It's now omnipresent. Cars will soon be able to drive passengers anywhere in safety because of it.

GPS is also everywhere in emergency management. Latest developments help authorities issue alerts faster ... for tsunamis or earthquakes for example.

GPS can help with damage assessment and can help response agencies track resources and equipment. It's a great tool for critical infrastructure operators too.

While not a new phenomenon, the geospatial revolution in emergency management has gained a lot of momentum since 2009. FEMA for one, is taking full advantage of this by inserting a "disaster reporter" feature in its mobile app that marries GPS and damage assessment ... building on the growing use of mobile tech, videos and pictures by people impacted by disasters.

That's where the power of GPS lies for emergency managers: the people they serve ... have the ability to make their lives easier ...speed up response and recovery ... by sending in information (often in the form of pics/vids) with pinpoint GPS coordinates ... that can be instantly put on a map.

Now, that's empowerment! That's why GPS, as a key component of the social convergence equation, sits at number 4 on my list of top 10 SMEM technologies.

The series so far: 

#5: the crisis mapping platform (Dec. 27)
#6: Skype and Google Hangout (Dec. 17)
#7: Facebook (Dec. 12)
#8: SMS (Dec. 8)
#9: the mobile app (Dec. 5)
#10: Youtube (Dec. 3)

Series introduction (Nov. 29)

Jim Garrow's blog 
Kim Stephen's blog

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