kyuan's blog | MIT Center for Civic Media

Analyzing Crisis Mapping in Haiti

Keep in mind that the following is a brief summary of my research project. You can find the full text at the bottom of this post.

My project focuses on evaluating crisis mapping used during 2010 Haitian earthquake. It began as Maps for Mankind, a Youtube channel that would feature interesting mapping tools. My original plan was to focus my final project on civic mapping, but I realized it was way too broad of a topic. I decided to narrow my final project on something I found particularly interesting: crisis mapping. I thoroughly enjoyed the classroom discussion about it, particularly in the context of the Haitian earthquake.

Final Projects!

Last Wednesday, we all made a 30 second blurb about our what our final projects will be. I made a video that combines all of our ideas, with some relaxing Jazz music. Enjoy!

Since Youtube frustratingly removed the option to use the old embed code, I also have a link you can copy and paste.

Civic Maps During the Haitian Earthquake

As we get closer to the final project, I will narrow down the subject matter of my videos. One of my favorite episodes was the one about Google crisis maps. I really enjoyed the class discussion we had about civic maps, and writing up the case study for the Civic maps toolkit was also enjoyable. I believe that crowd sourcing to create civic maps is not only really cool, but also carries the potential to save lives during emergencies. Google is aware of the potential too in their creation of the Hurricane Sandy crisis map. Although there are still issues with our utilization of crisis maps, we can work out those kinks to create a valuable new tool in disaster response.

Google Fusion Maps

This video is about Google Fusion Tables, a great data visualization tool.


OneZoom Tree of Life

Watch the new video. All the information about this unique mapping tool is included:

As far as the overall project, it's been going pretty well so far. Collecting useful mapping tools has not been very difficult, as I would discover them by browsing the internet or checkout out Facebook posts. There is so much information to be found on the web, but the problem is that people are much more willing to be on Reddit or play flash games. For my next few videos, I will try to tie them into our classroom discussions a lot more. The past few videos were on largely random (but important) subjects, so I will begin to filter my mapping tools and try to make them pertinent to what we are learning.

Second Video- All About Election Maps!

The second video of Maps for Mankind. This time, it's about the election. Enjoy!

Model of Facebook Net Worth

Last week, our group attempted to create an equation detailing the net worth of a single Facebook account. We imagined a situation in which Mark Zuckerberg decided to dis-invest all of Facebook's net worth to each user, based on the net worth of their respective profiles. The question and scenario are both fairly straightforward, but the solution is not so much. There are many factors and variables to take into account, especially a social networking site as complex as Facebook. I wanted to create an index that would assign various "points" to a profile for having certain features. These features included having a large list of Friends, the fraction of the day spent on Facebook, number of comments, likes, and posts on the user's profile, among others. I had originally wanted for each profile to have a certain numerical index (which theoretically should have no limit). To determine the "slice" of the Facebook pie earned, one would simply divide a profile's index by the combined index values of all other profiles existing.

A Theory of Social Change

Last Wednesday, our group began to formulate a theory of social change. Instead of having a single theory, however, our group divulged into two camps on what an idealized model would be like. Today, I would like to discuss the model that I had personally worked on more, and that would be the colored "human pyramid" in the picture below. We wanted to draw a model and demonstrated the current state of society, which can be broadly described as a pyramid. I believe that societal change cannot and should not warrant a "flat world", with one of absolute equality. However, societal change should bring about various shifts in the societal pyramid, for the greater benefit of the less-endowed masses.

Updated Project Proposal

Last week, we discussed our final project proposals and received feedback from one another. Although I feel that my project proposals are much more elementary than the others, I still have some positive feedback from a few of my ideas. I've essentially narrowed it down to two ideas: the humorous educational sketches and analyzing data visualization of various networks. I really like the first idea of creating humorous, yet informative shows on Youtube, mostly because it would take form of a pilot script rather than a paper. I realize that I would also have to write about my project no matter what, but executing the former idea seems a lot more enjoyable than the latter. Thus, I have decided to choose my final project to be about creating humorous educational sketches on Youtube.