OpenIR is a web application offering geo-located infrared (IR) satellite data as on-demand map layers, translating the data so that anyone can understand it easily, and interfacing the data with participatory map systems.
When disaster strikes, the most important element to saving lives is information. Information regarding water depths, spread of oil, fault lines, burn scars, and elevation are all crucial in the face of disaster. Much of this information is publicly available as infrared satellite data. However, with today’s technology, this data is difficult to obtain, and even more difficult to interpret.
OPEN INFRARED, or OpenIR, is a web application offering geo-located infrared data as on-demand map layers, and translating the data so that anyone can read it easily. Anyone can use OpenIR, thus opening the world of satellite data to crisis responders, citizen journalists, indigenous groups, and more.
OpenIR can be used for rescuing flood victims, detecting volcanic damage, finding the extent of wildfires, and seeing where the next landslide may occur. OpenIR can also be combined with existing geo-crowdsourcing data trackers, like Ushahidi (http://ushahidi.org), which collects point-based information submitted by individual people for the purpose of documenting political and natural disasters.
OpenIR will be pilot tested in Indonesia, where the massive 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami took more than 200,000 lives. Economically developing, ecologically vulnerable areas, like Indonesia’s Banda Aceh region, were disproportionately affected.
With OpenIR, not only can more lives be saved during a crisis, the crisis itself may be prevented.
Provide real-time IR analysis tools for all major disasters
The DuKode Studio: Previous Work. The idea for OpenIR stemmed from work at The DuKode Studio, whose principals, Arlene Ducao and Ilias Koen, have worked with public infrared satellite data for many years, from sources including NASA, NOAA, and USGS, and for clients including the American Museum of Natural History and the Princeton-based research organization Climate Central. DuKode’s principals have also worked with human development data [UN HDR], iOS and web programming, and have been awarded large grants, like the NSF Small Business Innovation Research award in 2009.
Arlene Ducao (MIT & The DuKode Studio): Project Organizer and UI Programmer. Arlene is OpenIR’s overall coordinator, and her technical focus is on interpretive user interface. She is an Ida Green Fellow in the MIT Media Lab's Information Ecology group and is also a co-founder and principal of The DuKode Studio. She holds an MFA in Computer Art from the School of Visual Arts, and a BS and BM from the University of Maryland. A Filipino-American, Arlene recently returned from Bangalore and seeks ways to improve environmental services in South and Southeast Asia.
Ilias Koen (The DuKode Studio): Data Organizer and Data Programmer. Ilias will focus on IR satellite data acquisition, processing, and delivery. He is a co-founder and principal of The DuKode Studio. In 2005, he received an MFA in Computer Art from the School of Visual Arts. He was born in Athens, Greece, and received a BFA at the Athens School of Fine Arts. He now lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He is always interested in technologies and art forms that can enhance visual cognition.
Juhee Bae (MIT): Usability and Implementation Researcher. Juhee will research usability issues via community outreach. She is a third-year double major in Urban Studies and Planning and Civil and Environmental Engineering. She's highly experienced in community outreach projects, having worked with communities in Boston, New Orleans, rural India, South Africa, and Panama, and she is familiar with several different types of GIS software. She is very interested in bringing OpenIR to the general public, particularly to developing regions.
Abdulaziz Alghunaim (MIT): Server and Data Programmer. Abdulaziz will build OpenIR’s server capabilities and assist Ilias with data programming. He is a first-year undergraduate student at MIT pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He grew up in Saudi Arabia, which gave him international exposure. While abroad, he was involved with national plans to enrich the Arabic digital content on the web, specifically games and multimedia. Abdulaziz is interested in systems, robotics, and artificial intelligence.
United Nations Global Pulse
Global Pulse is an innovation initiative of the UN Secretary-General, harnessing today's new world of digital data and real-time analytics to gain a better understanding of changes in human well-being.
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