For all the criticism about open collaborative projects, these have one unquestionable asset: the speed and efficiency of updates.
In crisis situations such as the Haiti earthquake, this makes all the difference. I’ve been following the developments of OpenStreetMap (OSM) after the first earthquake hit and it’s fascinating. Just check this comparision with Google to convince yourself (play with the transparency in the top right corner).
With flooding in the Phlippines from Typhoon Parma and another system, Typhoon Marla, bearing down on East and Southeast Asia, severe weather events are again in the news, making this week’s focus at the ISN on natural disasters all the more pertinent.
And even though one can’t say if these are the direct result of climate change, many wonder if staving off the effects, such as hurricanes, is possible through man-made means: geoengineering. Dr Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Department of Global Ecology at Stanford tells us in the latest edition of ISN Podcasts that human intervention should be the last resort.