Kathleen Conti/Globe Staf
From MIT’s Media Lab to the Reddit forums to the Globe’s own reporting, techies of all stripes came together to help respond to Hurricane Sandy, mapping, debunking, and connecting information and people throughout a evening.
Google, which has done extensive, real-time crisis mapping in the past, put together a Superstorm Sandy map highlighted outages, emergency shelters, weather information and more, while the Globe offered its own maps, totaling the hundreds of thousands of power outages throughout the state as well as incidents noted by Globe reporters.
Two other Boston-grown efforts are helping organize aid efforts.
HurricaneHackers gained traction as a simple Google Doc that marshaled and coordinated resources towards recovery, including beginning work on projects to follow up on aid response requests and a tool to help displaced individuals find a place to stay.
In a more polished form, the group has already released a crowdsourced timeline of the Sandy impact.
Recovers.org, a recent MassChallenge prize winner, also helped marshall efforts, offering free accounts of its disaster response service for certain impacted areas. Currently, it has a live section focused on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Other crowdmapping efforts in other areas have also sprung up, such as in Fairfax County, and the Guardian’s effort to map every verified event.
And while not hacking, the crew over at The Atlantic has been focused on debunking Photoshopped or misattributed storm images.
But some of the most important resources might be the simplest: The Red Cross has a Shelter Search up, and FEMA has a bare bones page offering ways to donate and volunteer with reputable organizations.