Facebook is now extending its hand to save lives during natural calamities and disaster by creating disaster maps.

Their project found its inspiration from the Peru floods that took place earlier this March. According to a report, the flood took 100 lives, leaving thousands misplaced. According to the Facebook press release video, those floods were trending on their platform, which gave them three coordinates to start with their project.

These coordinates were firstly, the location of the people during the disaster, which they called ‘the location density map’. Secondly, it allowed Facebook to track their movement in various neighbourhood areas during such emergency, which they call ‘movement maps’ and lastly, the location where they were checking themselves safe or ‘safety check maps’.

Using an ‘aggregated, de-identified Facebook data’, which could be used to share information to organizations, this disaster map was created. Thus, allowing Facebook to hint to these relief organizations where their life saving efforts were actually needed.

By the use of census information of the affected region and satellite images they intend to keep track of the human population and provide safety nets accordingly. They have also used neural network technology, through their Facebook image recognition engine, to work on this system.

It would be interesting to see them work on connecting these organizations to those affected in remote areas such as villages or places where the internet connectivity is poor and usually gets worse when a calamity strikes.

Organisations working closely with Facebook are UNICEF, the International Federation of the Red Cross, the Red Crescent Societies and the World Food Programme.

Currently, Facebook has an option of Safety Check, which allows users to mark themselves, friends and family safe, during various points of crisis, such as an earthquake, terror attacks and cyclones. Launched in 2014, this option allows people to reconnect with their friends and families during crisis.

Publish date: June 8, 2017 10:26 am| Modified date: June 8, 2017 10:26 am

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