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Crisis Response @ Google

When disaster strikes, people increasingly turn to the internet for information. Google Crisis Response helps ensure the right information is there in these times of need by building tools to collect and share emergency information, and by supporting first responders in using technology to help improve and save lives.

In this presentation, we’ll discuss three essential design principles that take into account uniquely pressing needs in crisis situations:

  • Simple: tools must be familiar and easy to use
  • Open: software must be open for systems to interoperate; data must be open for wide use
  • Standard: technology must be built on agreed-upon standards to enable information sharing and collaboration

We’ll take a technical look at three tools under active development by the Crisis Response team, each grown out of these principles: Crisis Map, Person Finder, and Public Alerts.

Alice Bonhomme-Biais is a Staff Software Engineer at Google.org. She holds a PhD in distributed systems from ENS Lyon, France. In 2005, she joined Google's New York office to work on search quality for Google Maps. In 2010 she became one of the first software engineers on the Google Crisis Response Team.

 

Phil Coakley is a Staff Software Engineer at Google.org in NYC, where he works on the Crisis Response Team building systems that make critical information more accessible in times of disaster. Prior to joining Google in 2007, he was involved in a network security startup in the NYC area. Phil has a bachelor's degree in computer science from Columbia University.

 

 

___________________

The agenda for this event is:


5:30 - 6:30 pm: Attendees Register / Networking   
6:30 - 6:35 pm: Welcome & Intro: Nigel Snoad, Google.org   
6:35 - 7:35 pm: Presentation: Crisis Response @ Google   
7:35 - 8:00 pm: Q/A   

Please note the venue entrance is on the 8th Avenue side of the building. If you mistakenly go to the 9th avenue entrance, building security will ask you to walk around the building (on the outside!) to the 8th Avenue side. The A,C,E trains stop on the 8th Avenue side of the building.   

The RSVP name will be provided to the building security in advance - so please do register with your real name (first/last) as this will significantly speed up registration.    

Google volunteers will also be present at the event to answer any questions you may have, look for people who are wearing "Google" t-shirts.

See you there!


Join or login to comment.

  • Baba

    Duplication, cockblocking and generally misuse/mismanagement of resources is pretty much par for the game. Hope Googlers are trying to reduce that aspect of the crisis management scenario.

    July 3, 2013

    • Susan G.

      Thanks, Dale! What a gift. Zara Swindells-Grose's TED talk was amazing. Humor is key! Thanks again. :)

      1 · July 19, 2013

    • William D.

      cccw VcTvGw v cw hv

      July 19, 2013

  • Stephen N.

    How do we continue the discussion? I found https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/googlecrisisresponseteam , but there were not topics (just crickets, chripping) is there an (semi-)oficial group to help inspire/corrdinate/update the conversation that was started by Alice Bonhomme-Biais and Phil Coakley. We will self moderate, just wanted to know that Alice/Phil/Google Response Team would be listening/participating. Contact me via meetup message, with any ideas.
    BTW thank you both for presenting.

    July 11, 2013

  • Eugene J.

    Please prepare more food more late guests.

    July 9, 2013

    • Stephen N.

      The food was actually an incentive to arrive early/on time, it worked on me.

      July 10, 2013

  • Yen

    When will this Tech Talk video be posted on Youtube? http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=AD8A7B6D66DDD297

    July 10, 2013

  • Liz P

    Great introduction to Google's best practices in a crisis situation and insight into the tech community at large. Really fun conversation starter about the current and future state of information management in a time of crisis. Thanks again!

    2 · July 10, 2013

  • Manjiri

    Endless possibilities for extensions not just as Crisis Response but for other social initiatives. Great event! Thanks.

    July 10, 2013

  • Arunansu P.

    Nice Presentation. Interesting topic.

    1 · July 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great presentation - I volunteered for the Red Cross during Katrina, they desperately needed these apps.

    1 · July 9, 2013

  • Tokunbo Michael H.

    This meetup was excellent. Google has again done some wonderful things with the data they have.

    1 · July 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    The topic is a great one and it seems like the team is working on the efforts that are likely to provide a higher return in the short term. More thorough analysis can be performed then and even by third parties through open platforms. maybe the need is to raise awareness but that is a different thing. Congratulations on what you have achieved and best of luck with what's yet to come !

    1 · July 9, 2013

  • Deep K.

    Sorry, last minute issues. cannot make it

    July 9, 2013

  • Soul

    I agree with the if you are in your in. It's simply how it works. It sucks, but space is limited. Now we can move forward and propose a solution. And I stand by my previous statement; Hangout or Livestream, etc. It has been very successful for us at TechMeetUp. Options / solutions thanks to technology. It's why we are here.

    July 9, 2013

  • Omar I.

    Looking forward to meet you all, check out:

    http://www.cooperationhub.com/

    Talent bartering system with a virtual currency, so u can exchange ur services with professionals. It also has a bidding system,V so you can get the right value for your hours. 
    Will appreciate ur feedback...

    July 9, 2013

  • Eli Jacopo S.

    too late

    July 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    seriously, why would you change rsvp 20 minutes into the meeting - can't get in because of security anyways...

    July 9, 2013

  • Gordon

    Too late notice for me to attend.

    July 9, 2013

  • Sam K.

    Sorry! Transportation error!

    July 9, 2013

  • Eric G.

    Need to cancel. Sorry. Hope someone can take my ticket.

    July 9, 2013

  • Thomas

    already made other plans since waitlist looking unlikely

    July 9, 2013

  • Carla S.

    Can't make it today!

    July 9, 2013

  • Ihor S.

    Something just came up an I will not be able to attend tonight. Giving up my spot to the next person in line on the wait list. Enjoy!

    July 9, 2013

  • Saikiran Y.

    Are there bots running which poll every day for new events page and RSVP as soon as a new one is published. Because there is no way in hell the human is that fast.

    3 · July 8, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I happened to be on my phone when the email came through, I dropped everything and signed up. That's what it takes. I generally never get into the tech meetup either.

      1 · July 9, 2013

    • Rachel

      I schedule getting tickets to ny tech. that is admittedly an activity in ridiculousness...though not as bad as it once was (and something you can almost always get tickets to at the door if you don't mind waiting around in the extra ticket line for people who don't show up.)

      July 9, 2013

  • Subhasis D.

    Sorry. Will not be able to attend.

    July 9, 2013

  • karim m.

    Wont be able to make it. Person #1 on the wait list, this is your lucky day

    July 9, 2013

  • Joe C.

    unable to attend

    July 9, 2013

  • charles w.

    Registration: Charles Worthman

    July 9, 2013

  • Stephen N.

    Will be driving in around 3:30 from Paramus NJ area, stopping in Hackensack to pick up. Need a ride? Let me know.

    July 9, 2013

  • Nan Z.

    my only chance of attending an event @google

    July 9, 2013

  • M A.

    Please remember to update your attendance if it's possible that you cannot make it. I'd suggest many unexcused no-shows should get a person demoted.

    July 9, 2013

  • ks

    I cannot make 5:30 today, too bad. Looking forward to the video, have fun. http://www.linkedin.com/in/katrinschmid

    July 9, 2013

  • Brian G.

    Looking like the wait list isn't going to clear up. Do you record the meetings? If not, would there be interest in finding volunteers to staff a video team? (Thinking Hangouts "on air").

    July 9, 2013

    • Baba

      I believe the meetings are recorded and then put on youtube, it may not be up right away.

      July 9, 2013

  • Dan K.

    Hope this is an awesome talk!

    July 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Attendance at these events requires an absurd RSVP response time :(

    4 · July 3, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      FREE FOOD!!!! Really??? I'll find a way to get in! : )

      2 · July 4, 2013

    • David S.

      @Dave, so you are saying meetup.com provides an auto penalty mechanism in their UI? Because that is what I mean by "baked in"...in any case what you describe doesn't seem to make any use of the historical data...which is the most valuable aspect of just such a feature for meetup.com if they were to implement it. One of my areas of expertise is automated workflow and management systems by the way, I invented Action Oriented Workflow which would make building such a system trivial.

      July 8, 2013

  • Jaimin P.

    Looking forward to attend it..

    July 8, 2013

  • Nico

    Oh no, a conflict...sorry to miss it!

    July 8, 2013

  • Veronica

    Thank you!

    July 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    What a CRAZY waitlist! How about just charging $20
    admission?
    THAT would weed out the rubberneckers!
    I am NOT a programmer but a mathematician,
    so I am interested in all things Googol...er...Google.
    But HOW to attend???

    1 · July 3, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Simple, establish a Meetup-Google Scholarship to send under privledged talented kids to

      1 · July 4, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      computer camp!

      July 4, 2013

  • David S.

    again the bloody waiting list...*argh*

    July 3, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      WHEN did it first arrive? Maybe they need a Stub Hub for Google Talks!!!

      July 3, 2013

    • David S.

      Baba, good point as a developer I am spending my time engineering over networking. ;)

      @Sandra, kind of but what meetup.com needs to do is what i suggested in a separate response to post above! A system for vetting rsvp's and crediting those that attend and punishing those taht don''t after doing so...they could charge money for it and it hsould be TRIVIAL to implement on a well designed system (assuming theirs is...of course). ;)

      July 3, 2013

  • Eli H.

    simplifying disaster relief @ SparkRelief.org. Great work Nigel and the crisis team!

    1 · July 3, 2013

  • Ray R.

    I feel like a won one of Willy Wonka's golden tickets!!

    2 · July 3, 2013

  • Wen Dombrowski MD M.

    I created the Superstorm Sandy Seniors Services layers on the Google Crisis Map last year. Http://bit.ly/sssmap4 Http://bit.ly/sssmap5

    July 3, 2013

  • Baba

    During Hurricane Sandy, working in Red Hook with a bunch of volunteers who had come from other parts of the country, it became very clear that most of the folks had no clue as to how to provide help. They were interested in setting up wifi networks and apps without realizing the people who needed the help were folks who come from very low economic backgrounds, have little knowledge of how to use the "internets", for them these kids who had been blessed and grew up in richer environs had no clue as to what was needed. I would hope that the folks at Google are solving the coordination issues between the various NGO's and Federal/State Agencies and not trying to address the needs of the people affected by a crisis.

    July 3, 2013

  • Baba

    When you have a crisis unless it is a man made disaster such as a terror attack or an industrial explosion etc, most of the crisis involve natural disasters. On those occasions power is generally cut and thereby disabling most folks ability to have access to information.

    1 · July 3, 2013

  • Soul

    Considering the popularity maybe an alternative to attending is in order. Does Google provide a live cast or Hangout of the event? Works for NYTM - never missed an event.

    2 · July 3, 2013

    • Baba

      no they record it and youtube at a later time. What purpose does it serve to stream live really.It isn't like you are going to be able to ask questions. What Google may do is have open office hours for the those who just want to see the google offices & eat/drink free food.

      July 3, 2013

    • David S.

      One of the other reasons that Google hosts these events is to have their HR recruiters mix and mingle with prospective Googlers. I know at least one person who landed a gig with Google (software engineer role) from being at the Tech talk...so for such people, being able to physically attend is critical.

      July 3, 2013

  • Georgina M.

    I'm just a little confused because i was e-mail an invitation and clicked 'RSVP' and was then moved to the wait list :(

    4 · July 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    please add me to the list

    July 3, 2013

  • John Peter S.

    I am surprised. I looked at this one hour ago and there where 300 peeps on the waitlist. Too bad, since I worked on a similar problem. Also, Google already has sat access, from a mapping and overlay context the military does it all the time. Under the current circumstances of Google and others in the news, person finder may be problematic without limitations, wouldn't you say?

    July 3, 2013

  • Richard

    Hi, I'm Richard - part of the team at ChallengePost. Perviously I was working on Random Hacks of Kindness for the World Bank.

    July 3, 2013

  • Haobo L.

    Google talks have been too popular these days, like the intern movie. Should we worry about it --- at least it is not too big to fail on the financial side? But would it be too big to "do no evil"?

    1 · July 3, 2013

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