Targeted, Crowdsourced aid for Mexican Earthquake Victims

Published in MIT News on September 24, 2017, by MIT School of Architecture and Planning

MIT team’s online platform links those who need aid with those who can help.

On Sept. 19, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck Mexico City and the surrounding region, demolishing buildings, killing hundreds, and trapping and injuring many more. More than 3,000 structures were damaged in Mexico City alone, according to news reports.

The disaster galvanized Mexican students in the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) to construct a crowdsourcing platform designed to link those in need of help with volunteers best positioned to assist with specific needs.

Using the online platform, Manos a la Obra, affected individuals and volunteers can post requests and offers for various types of aid, such as medical services, shelter, food, and water, as well as their contact information so that they can communicate directly. The information collected by the platform is geolocated and displayed on a map in real-time to allow organizations and individuals the ability to tailor aid responses to each request...

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