Your Next Job could be with QCRI’s Social Computing team

Feeding curiosity and delivering excellence is of utmost importance at Qatar Computing Research Institute. With top research scientists, software engineers and program technologists, QCRI has the pulse of an entrepreneurship environment with the heart of scientific rigor. Computer vision, UAV image processing, social media analysis, wearables, big data and cybersecurity are just some of the topics that teams tackle.


We’re hiring for multiple positions across: Social Computing, Data Analytics, CyberSecurity, Arabic Language Technologies, Distributed Systems, and Computational Science and Engineering.

Start your future here.

Definitely Social

In November 2014, I joined the Social Computing team. It has been a fast paced adventure to learn about all the research projects and formulate programs to foster Social Innovation in Qatar. Often I joke that my role is to add baking soda to research. The opportunity to connect research, entrepreneurship and technology for social good feeds my mind and soul. We are seeking research scientists, software engineers and even post-doctoral students to maintain our momentum. I’ve added two active descriptions. Won’t you join us? Please do ask me questions. And, share with your networks.

Social Computing group researches and builds programmes for: (1) mining social media for sociopolitical, cultural, and behavioral patterns, (2) social media intelligence for news and (3) extracting timely and credible information from social media for crisis response. We incorporate the cross-cutting Social Innovation initiatives which includes research and programmes on resilient cities, humanitarian software, digital humanitarians and youth engagement.

Active Social Computing Roles

Research Scientist

The Principal Scientist is a senior departmental leader within QCRI who is responsible for leading and conducting scientific research work. The Principal Scientist will have primary responsibility for defining the methodology for conducting research and for evaluating research results in order to ensure the highest standards of practice and research quality, while aligning research activities with QCRI’s mission and vision. The Principal Scientist will also possess a strong background in computational social science, behavior mining, visualization, text mining, data mining, machine learning, data management, or information retrieval.

Software Engineer

Experience in the development of data-intensive applications involving the processing of large datasets is required.

Experience dealing with blogs/micro-blogs and other user generated contents is required.
Fluency in Java and at least one scripting language (e.g. Perl, PHP, Ruby or Python) is required.
Familiarity with data mining and/or data warehousing, technologies, a plus.
Relational database experience required, MySQL a plus.
NoSQL database experience required, Redis or Cassandra, a plus.
Experience applying Machine Learning or Natural Language Processing methods, a plus.
Strong communication and collaboration skills; must be fluent in English.

Rank and compensation will be commensurate with experience. Please apply via the QCRI website.


Your Neighbour is Mapping

It has been a month since the Nepal Earthquake occurred and the digital humanitarian response has somewhat slowed. We remain mindful of the lives lost and potential long recovery period. As with every emergency now, global civic tech and mapper communities connect. In this case, our friends and colleagues at Kathmandu Living Labs were at the centre. This was the largest collective response as of yet. Time and analysis will tell us how effective we were and inform the next stages. The number of contributors across organizations with diverse skillsets/offerings ranged from 40,000 with Tomnod, 2800 with MicroMappers with leaders Standby Task Force (Over 170) and over 6000 with Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team. We were inspired by the tremendous leadership of Kathmandu Living Labs(KLL) who together with partners like Humanity Road deployed of the most successful Ushahidi deployments for crisis response. KLL also co-lead the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team activation.

It is increasingly evident that the response changed Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team’s (HOT) community. Now that some of us have had some time to rest and reflect, it is only fitting to host a session at State of the Map US on “Your Neighbour is Mapping“. How can we learn and foster civic tech like OpenStreetMap around the world, especially building on the lessons from the Nepal response? And, while we think big, consider neighbourhoods and regions that could be foster the civic tech spirit of OpenStreetMap in their own language, culture and traditions. Add to a discussion how to diminish the mapper gender divide.

State of the Map – US Tickets are going fast (Get yours by June 1st, 2015).

State of the Map – United States – Join us!

State of the Map – US, organized by the OpenStreetMap US team, will be held at the United Nations. There are many sessions about the wider OpenStreetMap community, technology and use cases. HOT members and community contributors will also be leading a number of conversations. Leaders include Dale Kunce, Kate Chapman, Mikel Maron and John Crowley to name a few. We are also planning on hosting a Birds of a Feather (informal chat) about HOT and the community.

Map icon

Together with Ivan Gayton of Medicine Sans Frontieres (MSF) I will be co-hosting a session. We want to spark a conversation on how we think OpenStreetMap’s community can get to the next 1 Million people. Both of us will ask: “what does implementation look like?” (even with the hard questions) There are many OSM and HOT projects around the world each with their own networks and activities. Drawing on his Missing Maps experience, Ivan will cite his lessons from hosting Missing Mapathons and field work in the Democratic Republic of Congo. (Missing Maps is a partnership between HOT, MSF and American Red Cross). As a HOT Board member for the past 3 years, I’ve been engaged in many community maturity and community growth conversations. We need to keep building on this. With some many contributors, how can we improve their experience and keep them engaged? To me, OpenStreetMap changed with the Nepal response. HOT changed. This a great thing. Now, how do we learn and pivot?

Elasticity means Local leads Global

Mapathons from Japan, Brazil, US, to Germany, local leaders in Nepal, and over 6000 contributors globally mapping using pre- and post-disaster imagery were just some of the community highlights from the Nepal response. Add to that all the guides on how to map everything from heliopads to Displaced Persons Camps and very detailed discussions about process, validation, imagery analysis and best practices for onboarding new mappers. HOT has always been an accordion growing for large activations and staying the course for longer term projects. We have learned so much about what we need to be more sustainable. This means everything from better training, software improvements, community microgrants, mentorship, and community development. But the biggest reminder is what makes HOT so special: yet again the local community, in this case, Nepal truly lead and taught the global ‘surge’ support what was needed while collaborating with official humanitarians.

We need to foster local OSM communities and civic tech hubs like Kathmandu Living Labs or HOT Indonesia. And, in doing so, recognize that we have so much to learn and share about global collaboration. It is my theory that much like the open data movement, these large pockets of OSM will alter the fabric to make it truly global. There were some moments during the Nepal Response when I would open my email and gasp with pride at the sheer collaborative generousity of people trying to map for good. The earnest spirit and drive to deliver the best maps to support humanitarians is what drives me to support HOT as their President. So, funders, (warmly) get ready for some phone calls. We need help to keep the momentum. And that we see how the lists of items that the new and long-standing contributors provided deserves consideration.


OpenStreetMap in Qatar

I live in Doha, Qatar. When I moved here I researched the state of “open communities” and made some contacts. Some allies include QMIC, AL Jazeera, IctQatar, Qatar Living and Mada Qatar. At Qatar Computing Research Institute, we also use and create open source software, including OSM. The crux of the issue is that Doha is changing everyday and maps are quickly out of date. But, if there was a strong OSM community then this could be tackled. Countless times trying to explain location with faulty GPS or building names teaches me daily on the true need for OSM to grow here. There are people who want to build businesses on top of the base layer. They want the skills. Some immediate goals are to translate LearnOSM.org needs to be in arabic and begin hosting mapping parties. The good news is that I have located a small map cohort. Come September, we will host Maptime Meetings. Now, Doha does not need HOT for ‘economic development’ like other regions of the world, but Doha’s OSM mapping community will benefit from HOT tools and best practices.

(Map icon: by Mister-Pixel from Noun-Project)


Doha brewing Smart City activities

Driving into the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), one is struck with the sweeping architecture reflecting a fast-paced ambition to evolve. There are moments in Doha where you can see the future. Places like QSTP very much demonstrate the active efforts of many to change a city and country. It is only fitting that such a place would host the Smart Cities: Dreams to Reality Tech Talk.

Smart Cities TechTalk panel May252015

(Photo: Dr.Thomas Groegler, Waleed Al Saadi, Mansoor Al-Khater and Abdulaziz Ahmed Al-Khal)

The event opened with Mansoor Al-Khater: Chief Strategy Officer of Ooredoo Qatar (a national telco) asking: How can use the huge amount of data to push economic development? Building on his wide-angle lens vision of Smart Cities, he set that tone outlining the potential of smart city technologies. Examples included using smart city technology to change traffic flows to divert from accidents/volume or notify citizens in case of emergencies. But, he emphasized that Smart cities are not just about the technology. It is a shift in culture and how we interact with our cities.

Mr. Abdulaziz Ahmed Al-Khal, Chief Commercial Officer at Qatar Mobility Innovations Center (QMIC) highlighted some points about why smart cities will matter to the citizens. He asked us how startups can spark from organic ideas to full technical platforms. QMIC is a partner of Qatar Computing Research Institute. In my time at QCRI, I’ve had a chance to meet a number of the staff and review their platforms. There are over 300 sensors on the various streets and roads around Doha. These sensors stream to real-time maps and provide large data insights into traffic flow. This is one of the growing issues as the city population expands faster than the infrastructure build. While QMIC is seeking to build businesses and foster data-driven startups, QCRI is along on this journey to use our data analytics brainpower and ponder how social computing (how humans interact and provide data via social media.).

Doha is a mix of old city and new city, but Qatar is building Lusail from scratch as a Smart City. This is really a long tail plan. You can read about it on the Lusail website. Having driven by this city, I really am more curious now the city in the making will evolve. Engineer Waleed Al Saadi invited people to explore the Lusail progress. I’ll add it to the list right after visiting the Msherieb enrichment centre. This part of Doha is set to be the most wired and sustainable area.

Lastly Dr. Thomas Groegler, Head of the Innovation Center of Siemens, reminded us that with all this technology and dreaming, we need to deeply consider and address how the smart city work will increase the digital divide, improve or decrease accessibility and, most importantly, effect all parts of physical and digital security. Points taken. Truly, it is with these realities that we must be mindful of our decisions and engage citizens.

How does this relate to our work at QCRI?

At QCRI Social Computing, we have two research and development streams that directly intersect with smart city activities: Social Media in Disaster and Resilient Cities. It is exciting to consider how our work can support and measure the national goals. As a digital humanitarian, I see how a network of Digital Qatar could support this emergency chart. While the formal organizations will use sensors and SMS, there is still a need to consider how social media in Qatar would be used during an emergency. This is about preparedness and an engaged citizenery.
Ooredoo on Smart City Emergency Response

Doha has a way to go to improve as we journey down the Smart City Path. Listed as #41 on the Sustainable City Index, there are standards and programmes to build to engage citizens in what they need from their city as well to foster the brightest entrepreneurs to use data to grow businesses to support the needs of various communities. Smart City Doha needs to keep building a civic tech community. There are pockets of amazing social entrepreneurship and technology groups. These just need to be activated more.


Advanced Research and Technology from WGET: ICT Humanitarian Innovation Forum

What are some of the research opportunities in Humanitarian Innovation? What are some of the “bright spots” to advance technology (new or existing)? The Working Group for Emergency Telecommunications (WGET) – ICT Humanitarian Innovation Forum was held in Dubai on April 29 – 30, 2015. While I curated the session, I was unable to attend at the last minute. Colleagues Larissa Fast and Rakesh Bharania kindly lead the interactive workshop about Communicating with Affected Communities. The WGET audience is a mix of technology companies, humanitarians, researchers and governmental (INGO, NGO, national and international) experts. This unique forum provided a chance to really drive conversations across disciplines.

WGET Session Description

Disaster-affected communities are increasingly the source of the “Big Data” that gets generated during disasters. Making sense of this flash flood of information is proving an impossible challenge for traditional humanitarian organizations. What are the next generation needs for actionable research and software in the fields of Social Data, Predictives and New Technology for Humanitarian response, especially focused on communicating with communities? This session will highlight the lessons learned from the Field while engaging participants in small group feedback sessions. Participants will be asked to discuss key topics such as research needs, opportunities and barriers. Suggestions will be documented and serve as an output from the workshop.


UN OCHA created this Storify: Unveiling Digital Aid at the 2015 WGET
Find the WGETForum on Twitter
See the WGET website

WGET  Session

What are some of the opportunities, barriers and research needs to advance technology use for Humanitarian response?

Many of these answers are fairly common for any project: development and humanitarian. I am struck by the missing ‘step ladder’ to solutions. With the World Humanitarian Summit coming, will there be some technical meetings to brainstorm on ‘what does success look like’? Some of the work at Qatar Computing Research Institute, School of Data, Responsible Data Forum, Brck and various social entrepreneurs are tackling these issues. Are these tools and techniques reaching the right people?

I’ve taken the liberty to highlight the key points. The session format provided ‘headline’ topics. While these lists are missing some of the conversational context, it is our hope that it gives you a window into some of the knowledge shared. The next steps are truly up to all of us.

Some of the barriers cited for advancing use of technology include:
  • How they can operate best where countries declare an emergency. When a country says it does not have an emergency, it prevents from responding.
  • Lack of clear problem statement—lack of social data but we don’t know how more of it would solve a problem.
  • Predictive models need to be adaptive to be effective, which increases complexity
  • Funding, Costs
  • Restrictive government policies
  • Regulation/policy
  • No coordination of efforts
  • Trust (between organizations and people to organizations)
  • Decision-making triggers/timelines
  • Variety of platforms – trusted?
  • Connectivity
  • Disrupted networks in disasters, lack of real-time data
  • Energy infrastructure, energy resources, energy/electricity competencies
  • Duplication of efforts
  • Veracity of information
  • Risk of information to the organization
  • Reliability of data
  • Data protection,Data expiration
  • Do we want to use social data? What’s the point?
  • High noise-to-signal ratio
  • No one person(s) who across all organizations is collecting data and knowledge of all going on
  • Knowing information gaps and what is being collected and not
Opportunities in research and advancing technology:
  • Everyone is trying to solve this problem… need a forum where we can share
  • Financing mechanisms based on predictive data/forecast
  • Social media; good platform if we are able to use it properly.
  • Provide insight into an issue
  • Create awareness
  • Feedback mechanisms to better adapt humanitarian response to needs
  • Integration of public social media awareness for self-filtering (?) into preparedness campaigns
  • Move towards demand-driven assistance, especially in acute phase of relief
  • How can we evaluate effectiveness of our interventions.
  • Enhance decision-making
  • Mechanism/triggers for decisions
  • Common tools, analysis to collect intelligence from a variety of platforms
  • Base applications on HXL so that they can be aggregated (?), exchanged, consolidated
  • Share initiatives – communicate to all others so no duplication and extra effort
  • Crisis signal – see areas with coverage of phones etc. Provides useful info
  • To use the new social related applications which we are well known to send live videos of cases that required immediate action (e.g., Snapchat)
  • Using the UAVs to send live videos to people in charge of the humanitarian response
  • Pooling/sharing resources, risk, skills/analysis
  • Provide through experiments
  • Narrative to show need/value, lives saved/lost (feedback (positive/negative)
  • Provision better programmes by reacting to real time data
  • Evaluating effectiveness of our interventions real time
Some Brainstormed ideas:
  • Research: study on impact of tech on community resilience (net effect)
  • Create a humanitarian open-source community to develop tools based on social data
  • Accountability of quality
  • Insecurity of shared information
  • Escalation of information
  • Adaptive, real-time predictive models
  • Integrated social media filters for preparedness programs
  • ICT tech: problem statement, expertise in house (analysis, security), + tools
  • Data transfer agreement
  • Clearing and monitoring mechanisms for social data to make it trustworthy
  • Keep in mind the ethical considerations of ICT use in humanitarian
  • To allow models/analysis and define the way data can be used across agencies or specifically across the cluster


Thanks to UN OCHA (Patrick and Amanda) for supporting this session, Larissa and Rakesh for hosting in my stead, and Olly Parsons of GSMA for some great notes. And, thanks to all the participants for driving the conversations.


Socioscope, like a telescope

We observe all the rapid fire social media content, but really don’t get much of a chance to see the big picture. All observational sciences need tools to, well, observe. As an example, breakthroughs in astronomy depend on ever bigger and better telescopes. Studying cell biology was impossible before the development of microscopes. The social sciences have, however, so far lacked similar instruments and were limited to smaller scale behavioral studies, often in artificial laboratory settings. Recently, through the advent of social media in general and Twitter in particular this has changed. Now social scientists finally have their “socioscope” and can study the behavior of millions of people at the click of a button.

Twitter a socialscope

Yelena Mejova and Ingmar Weber, Qatar Computing Research Institute colleagues, are co-editors of the new book with Michael Macy: Twitter: A Digital Socioscope. I asked them a few questions to learn more about their observations and research:

What inspires you about researching Twitter and social media data?

Ingmar: I’m always amazed by how rich a data source Twitter is. Though social media definitely does not represent the whole population and though there are definitely data quality issues, numerous studies have found robust and consistent links between chatter on Twitter and quantitative real world indicators. Studying this link between the physical world and the online world lies at the heart of my research and is also at the core of our book.

Yelena: The combination of mundane and sophisticated content on Twitter allows for a great variety in possible studies. On one side it is a space for discussion of political and community issues, while on the other the everyday life updates allow us to glimpse the diets, health, and mood of populations at scales unprecedented in social studies.

Can you share some of your core observations regarding the themes of your new book?

Ingmar: The overarching observation is that Twitter data can indeed provide meaningful insights about the real world. Applications range from tracking disease outbreaks to predicting the stock price. Each chapter provides a number of cases to demonstrate the feasibility, but also to question how reliable the derived information really is. For example, when it comes to tracking public opinion, caution is advised and Twitter might not be the preferred medium to analyze. Generally, in areas where one would expect the discussion to be dominated by pundits, commercial entities or by spammers extra care is needed before jumping to any conclusions because of certain trends on Twitter.

Yelena: Indeed, the chapters are written by the experts in their area, who describe the best tools for their aims, but also outline the shortcomings of the data and potential ways to overcome them. The most important observation for me is, despite the new tools and techie jargon, the methods of proper sampling, statistical analysis, and data quality checks developed throughout the social sciences are what make big data analysis a science.

What are you currently researching?

Ingmar & Yelena: We are currently looking at how to use social media data to study both public and individual health. More specifically, we are looking at how to combine data from social media with data obtained through mobile sensors, such as pedometers, to develop personalized and culturally aware interventions. Here in Qatar, changes in lifestyle have led to an explosion in obesity rates. At the same time, most of the research that looks at how to motivate people to live a healthier life considers only Western countries. We believe that the widespread use of social media such as Instagram could provide us with a tool to both gather data and advocate behavioral changes.

What can you recommend for students and data scientists to get started in this field?

Yelena: Because of the availability of both open-source tools and public data APIs, one really learns data science by “doing it”. Start with a simple question, gather data, apply algorithm, examine output, iterate. Every step helps you learn the tools of the trade, spurs more questions, and provides ground for further conversation with collaborators.

Ingmar: I think strong quantitative skills are a good foundation. This includes hands-on experience in data collection and analysis, but also in statistics and machine learning. At the same time, research in Computational Social Science is of a very interdisciplinary nature. So I’d encourage anybody to try and attend talks from other domains and to talk to experts in the humanities. Without having domain expertise on the research team it is less likely to provide new insights and it will be very hard to have actual impact.

Buy their book here to learn more! (This is my upcoming weekend read.)

About Yelena and Ingmar

Yelena Mejova (@yelenamm) is a scientist in the Social Computing Group at Qatar Computing Research Institute. Specializing in text retrieval and mining, Yelena is interested in building tools for tracking real-life social phenomena in social media. Her work on sentiment classification and evaluation, as well as political opinion tracking and poll now-casting has appeared in international computer and web science conferences such as ICWSM, WebSci and WSDM, and she is a co-editor of a Social Science Computing Review special issue on “Quantifying Politics Using Online Data”.

Ingmar Weber (@ingmarweber) is a senior scientist in the Social Computing group at Qatar Computing Research Institute. In his research, he uses large amounts of online data from Twitter and other sources to study phenomena that affect society at large. Recent work has looked at political polarization in Egypt, at global gender inequality in online social networks, at international migration, at relationship breakups, and at food consumption and obesity seen through social media. His research is frequently featured in popular press such as the Washington Post, Forbes, NewScientist, Financial Times, or Foreign Policy.


Working with and through Volunteers

Alex Rose, Disaster Program Manager for the American Red Cross (ARC) gave an informal talk at Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) about working with and through volunteers. QCRI is very keen to tie our humanitarian software research and development to real world work. Thanks Alex for sharing your work with our staff and summer interns.

Alex Rose on the ARC 5 Principles

As a humanitarian volunteer and staff, he shared examples about volunteer engagement and motivation. Los Angeles is a large city with a high risk of earthquakes. He wove stories of volunteers with examples on how resilient societies like Los Angeles can augment their communities with logistics planning and volunteer engagement. How would Doha prepare for a large emergency? Do we have the community infrastructure to support the official responders? Ironically, during the whole presentation, the fire alarms were being tested in the QCRI Tornado Tower offices. Always be prepared.


One of my goals in Qatar and the GCC is to create a Digital Qatar or Digital GCC network. We have much to learn from building online communities. Are we supporting healthy ecosystems for people to feel rewarded and motivated? Are we providing enough training and leadership? During the question and answer session, Mr. Rose encouraged both digital and local communities to provide letters of thanks and certificates for training. This is core to community growth and very much a best practice that we can all learn from the ARC. Based on the guest talk, I will be making some refinements to the MicroMappers process to incorporate better engagement.


Traveling to Doha

At QCRI, we encourage technologists, researchers, software companies and humanitarians to visit our offices and provide a session on your work. We want to encourage learning from practitioners and leaders to share their story. Please do drop me a line and I’ll make the arrangements.


Using your Voice to Amplify your Career

Mentoring is one of the most rewarding experiences in my career. Over the years, I have learned from mentors many skills on how to build my network, develop my skills, speak publicly and find my voice. Today I had the opportunity to share my experiences with the Qatar Computing Research Institute‘s Summer Interns. I am very thankful to my teachers and mentors for guiding me. Certainly as a mentee and mentor, I consider it a goal to be a lifelong learner. Do you have tips and ideas about amplifying your career? I’d love to learn from you.

Here are the slides with notes, articles, tools and techniques that might help you:


Welcome QCRI Summer Interns

Remember when you were a student? As a library studies student, I recall this unique combination of overwhelmed excitement and earnest curiousity. Now, it is a pleasure to give back. Working and living in Qatar adds special dimension: everywhere you turn there is a priority focus on education. This is even more supercharged as I work at Qatar Foundation with the Qatar Computing Research Institute.

QCRI Summer Interns May 2015

Summer is here and today was the first day of the QCRI Summer Internship program. Dr. Eman Al Fituri, QCRI’s Director of Education Initiatives, inspired students from many local universities to join the internships offered across the various divisions. The program is in its 4th year and has doubled in size of applicants and participants. My team at Social Computing has 14 students working including such diverse research topics from wearable eye tracking to twitter trends in the MENA region, show me healthy food in Qatar via Instagram, Summarizing the Perception of Qatar on Twitter, Mobile/wearable health sensing and interaction, and Political tweets in MENA countries. And, the Social Innovation team welcomes our Sysadmin intern. Over the course of the internship, I will highlight the amazing students and research outputs.

QCRI Summer Interns May 2015

Each of us is focused on the learning journey for the students. Being a teacher and mentor is so rewarding on both parts of the engagement. We are delighted to contribute to the mission of QCRI and Qatar Foundation to build local technical capacity. Often I joke that I am here in Qatar to deliver Social Innovation programs and find a local leader to replace me someday. On a personal note, it has been very rewarding to work with the QCRI Social Computing team to review and coordinate the internship program. For the summer, I will be coaching and mentoring on presentation and career development.

So, welcome student interns: you are our teachers and the future!


MicroMappers Nepal Response

[Cross-posted from MicroMappers.org, a project that I work on at QCRI]

A MicroMappers silver thread of goodness stitches this great world together. For the Nepal Earthquake response, Digital Humanitarians united from Doha to Bangalore to Phnom Penh to Auckland to Manila to Hong Kong to Vancouver to Buenos Aires to Mexico City to Boston to Stockholm to Bucharest to Nairobi to Capetown. Humanitarians and citizens of Nepal continue their efforts to deliver aid and support the country in the wake of the Nepal Earthquake. Our hearts go out to their important work and long road to recovery.

Over 2800 contributors reviewed tweets and images in the thousands to support humanitarians with information insights (See the full data below). All your ‘clicks’ and ‘decisions’ resulted in a highly curated dataset that was shared and incorporated into damage assessment decision-making by responders.

On behalf of the whole Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) team and our partners the Standby Task Force, UN OCHA and GeoThings, we thank you for every moment you spent reviewing content, every time you shared this project with your networks and every time that you thought: “I can make a small difference in this world.” You took time away from your busy lives and families to help our neighbours who happen to be Humanitarians.

QCRI Senior Software Developer, Ji Kim Lucas, created this map to show the global MicroMappers Nepal Earthquake Response effort. We humbled by the power of community. Thank you!

MicroMappers Global Map

Media Coverage of MicroMappers

The MicroMappers project storytelling has been lead by my colleague, Patrick Meier. He is a true leader in the Crisismapping and Digital Humanitarian space. If you have not read his book about the growth of Digital Humanitarians, I highly recommend that you do so. It is all our story of how we aim to use technology for good. It is a true pleasure to work at QCRI with Patrick, Ji and the whole Social Innovation/Social Computing team. We are humbled by the 2800 contributors and how the media has embraced this story during such a difficult time for the Nepali people.


Board Announcements: PeaceGeeks and Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team

The journey to grow digital technology communities has taken a number of forms in my career. I’ve had the great pleasure to work with some amazing leaders, partners and communities both in a professional and volunteer capacity. I am pleased to share that I have been re-elected to the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team Board of Directors (3rd year) with the role of President of the Board and elected to the PeaceGeeks Board of Directors (1st year). These map and technical communities are part of a larger Digital Humanitarian Network. For both boards, my priorities are strategy,fundraising and community building. I look forward to helping both organizations and communities grow their missions while supporting the beautiful engagement of helping people make a technical difference in this great world.

About Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team

HOT logo

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team [HOT] applies the principles of open source and open data sharing for humanitarian response and economic development.

This is my 3rd year as a member of the HOT Board. As a crisismapper and digital humanitarian, HOT is really a community home for me. I remain in awe of HOT’s potential. The community membership and board have honoured me with the role of President of HOT. As mentioned in my candidate statement, I see this as a critical year for HOT to grow local communities and build infrastructure to support organizational development. The community is so inspiring. This results in my contributing volunteer time beyond the suggested five – ten hours a month. In the coming months, I will speak at the State of the Map – US about “Your Neighbour is Mapping” with my colleague from Medicine Sans Frontieres. We aim to share some thoughts on implementation of local communities.

The HOT Board position is elected by the community membership.

To learn more about HOT, see our wiki page.

About PeaceGeeks

PeaceGeeks logo

PeaceGeeks empowers grassroots organizations by building technology partnerships to significantly improve or transform their efforts to promote peace and human rights in developing and conflict-affected areas. We see a world where every NGO can leverage technology to achieve lasting peace.

I’m most excited about PeaceGeek’s mission to work with small local NGOs on long-term sustainable projects. They aim to connect the global community to the local one stitching together offline and online techniques. There is so much potential to connect technical company corporate social responsibility programmes to PeaceGeeks’ wider network. Stay tuned as I learn more about PeaceGeeks and explore how I can connect them.

The Board of Director’s position is elected. I had a number of interviews by the team to be sure it was a good fit.

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