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Crowdmapping is a subtype of crowdsourcing[1][2] by which aggregation of crowd-generated inputs such as captured communications and social media feeds are combined with geographic data to create a digital map that is as up-to-date as possible[3] on events such as wars, humanitarian crises, crime, elections, or natural disasters.[4][5][6] Such maps are typically created collaboratively by people coming together over the Internet.[3][7]

The information can typically be sent to the map initiator or initiators by SMS or by filling out a form online and are then gathered on a map online automatically or by a dedicated group.[8] In 2010 Ushahidi released "Crowdmap" − a free and open-source platform by which anyone can start crowdmapping projects.[9][10][11][12][13]



Crowdmapping can be used to track fires, floods, pollution,[7] crime, political violence, the spread of disease and bring a level of transparency to fast-moving events that are difficult for traditional media to adequately cover, or problem areas[7] and longer-term trends and that may be difficult to identify through the reporting of individual events.[6]

During disasters the timeliness of relevant maps is critical as the needs and locations of victims may change rapidly.[3]

The use of crowdmapping by authorities can improve situational awareness during an incident and be used to support incident response.[7]

Crowdmaps are an efficient way to visually demonstrate the geographical spread of a phenomenon.[8]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Aitamurto, Tanja (8 May 2015). "Crowdsourcing as a Knowledge-Search Method in Digital Journalism". Digital Journalism. 4 (2): 280–297. doi:10.1080/21670811.2015.1034807. ISSN 2167-0811. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b Aitamurto, Tanja (1 October 2015). "Motivation Factors in Crowdsourced Journalism: Social Impact, Social Change, and Peer Learning". Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d Sutter, John D. "Ushahidi: How to 'crowdmap' a disaster". CNN. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  4. ^ a b The Impact of Crowdsourcing on Organisational Practices: The Case of Crowdmapping. ISBN 978-3-00-050284-2. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Crowdsourced counter-surveillance: Examining the subversion of random breath testing stations by social media facilitated crowdsourcing" (PDF). Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Concepts to Know: Crowdmapping". Kimo Quaintance. 4 September 2011. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Chemical Hazards and Poisons Report" (PDF). Public Health England. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  8. ^ a b Aitamurto, Tanja (16 January 2012). "Crowdsourcing for Democracy: A New Era in Policy-Making". Social Science Research Network. SSRN 2716771.
  9. ^ a b Jeffery, Simon (7 April 2011). "Ushahidi: crowdmapping collective that exposed Kenyan election killings". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  10. ^ "Kamerun: Hier entsteht das neue Afrika". Der Standard. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  11. ^ Belot, Laure (15 March 2012). " aide les peuples en difficulté" (in French). Le Monde. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  12. ^ "David Kobia: Ushahidi Co-founder. Humanitarian. Avid cyclist. - TechRepublic". TechRepublic. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  13. ^ "FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Ushahidi, Crowdmap and OpenStreetMap" (PDF). Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  14. ^ Brownstein JS, Freifeld CC, Reis BY, Mandl KD (2008) Surveillance Sans Frontières: Internet-Based Emerging Infectious Disease Intelligence and the HealthMap Project Archived 2008-08-09 at the Wayback Machine. PLoS Med 5(7): e151.
  15. ^ Barclay E (2008). Predicting the next pandemic. Lancet.
  16. ^ "Hypochondriacs turn to the crowd to track illnesses as CDC goes dark during government shutdown". VentureBeat. 2013-10-04. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  17. ^ a b Rühle, Alex (1 November 2016). "Crowdmapping: Ushahidi" (in German). Süddeutsche Zeitung. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  18. ^ Oxford, Adam. "Nairobi's iHub seeks investment for new hardware hackspace, Gearbox". ZDNet. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  19. ^ "Crowdmapping". Nesta. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  20. ^ "How Crowdmapping Attempts to Stay Ahead of Natural Disasters". Cross-Pollinate. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  21. ^ "Crowdmapping Irene". We Love DC. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  22. ^ Halsted, Deborah D.; Clifton, Shari C.; Wilson, Daniel T. (2014). Library as Safe Haven: Disaster Planning, Response, and Recovery; A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians. American Library Association. ISBN 9781555709136. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  23. ^ "Crowdmapping Denmark's CCTV cameras". 12 October 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  24. ^ "Cicada Tracker". WNYC. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  25. ^ "Can workers save Nepal's sacred sites before the monsoons hit?". PBS NewsHour. 2015-05-05. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  26. ^ "How data gathering has helped in Nepal". The Irish Times. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  27. ^ "How social media is helping Nepal rebuild after two big earthquakes". Quartz. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  28. ^ Bochenski, Natalie (5 May 2015). "Brisbane developers assist Nepal". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 6 January 2017.

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