Crowd-sourced maps for natural disasters boosted by new algorithm

By Chris Arsenault RIO DE JANEIRO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Humanitarian workers delivering aid to regions hit by natural disasters might find it a little easier to reach people most in need of help following new advances in crowd-sourced mapping technology, researchers said on Wednesday. Traditional maps often do not give rescue workers the information they need when disasters strike, such as which buildings and bridges have been destroyed. To make the mapping process more efficient, researchers at the University of California and the University of Tennessee created a new algorithm that indicates which areas need detailed mapping first after a disaster.

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