April 6, 2009

Global UGC science

The 6.3 earthquake Monday 55 mi NE of Rome thus far has killed 150 people and damaged 10,000 buildings.

As with the minor quake a week ago in San Jose, there is an incident report at the US Geological Service. What I find fascinating is that (like San Jose’s 4.3 quake a week ago) there are user-generated damage reports online for the Italian earthquake.

It’s one thing to say that there will be contributions from users in the heart of Silicon Valley and 20 miles from the USGS Western Regional headquarters. But here, thanks to an easy-to-use and well known IT system, there are more than 600 reports from 170 towns a continent away from USGS and its nominal territory of concern.

(This obviously works better in densely populated foreign areas. There are no responses yet for the 7.0 earthquake in the Kuril Islands NE of Japan.)

Still, this appears to offer an example of building a global brand — for one organization to offer a global clearinghouse for compiling UGC, leveraging economies of scale and network effects by offering one-stop shopping.

1 comment:

Chris Douglass said...

Joel, many in the pro peleton in this year's Giro d'Italia wore pink wrist bracelets as a memorial for the victims of the quake. An interesting little tidbit from this year's race that you definitely don't hear about in the mainstream media covering the race.