In October I'll be geeking out at the ICCM 09, the first International Conference on Crisis Mapping. The conference is "harnessing mobile platforms, computational linguistics, geospatial technologies, and visual analytics to power effective early warning for rapid response to complex humanitarian emergencies."
If you're scratching your head wondering what the field of crisis mapping is all about ... you're not alone! Good thing Patrick Meier has proposed a sketch of the field. You have to love a guy who literally defines a field. Patrick is a collaborator at Ushahidi and Swift, and I have really been fortunate to see him at work, particularly his leadership in bridging academic and hacker-practitioner communities in this "crisis" space. It's the same thing that is making everyone so excited about this conference. Thanks, Patrick.
Cross-pollination at these conferences is incredibly important to our success. We're doing many of the same things over and over, with innovative twists appropriate to our context. We just don't know each other. Now we get to meet and work together for three days. I think it's terribly exciting because of an increasing sense that we can all be doing these things much better.
See also Crisis Camp West (Watch this space, I think.)
Here's this from the ICCM conference site:
The purpose of the 3-day conference to be held in Cleveland on October 16-18 is to bring together the most engaged practitioners, scholars, software developers and policymakers at the cutting edge of crisis mapping to define the future of the field along with best practices and lessons learned. We expect over 50 organizations to be represented and for multiple partnerships to be formed on specific projects during the conference. Please note this conference is by invitation only. See below for a list of invited partners.
I hope to meet a few of my friends that I don't get to see enough, and meet a few new people working on great stuff. Check out the people that are involved and some of the planned talks. Probably there will be a lot of discussion about how to use Swift, and I might be demoing a new project about the rapid deployment of applications like Ushahidi and Meedan.
Come out and hack on some amazing software!
Correction: You can't come out and hack because (upon closer reading) it's apparently a closed conference. Frankly I'm disappointed.