Thursday, December 2, 2010

The GeoCam Motley Crew

At the GeoCam project, the mission has remained, but the people involved often change. We thought that it might be a good time to introduce some of the people making GeoCam better everyday.

Trey Smith leads the GeoCam Project and has been developing technology for disaster response since he joined NASA in 2007. His goal is to make disaster information systems cheap, usable, open, and interoperable so that responders and ordinary citizens can collaborate more effectively. As a result of Trey’s efforts, GeoCam Mobile has been deployed to several major California wildfires and to the 2010 Haiti earthquake. There is no better way to understand emergency response than to immerse oneself in the process. So, in addition to his role at NASA, he is also training to be a Technical Information Specialist with the California Task Force Three FEMA search and rescue team.

Eric is an avid mobile and web developer, having worked with J2ME and Google's Android mobile framework since its early beta days. He led the effort to create the I'm OK! notification system for use in emergency situations, which won First Prize at the inaugural Random Hacks of Kindness code jam. I'm OK! was subsequently deployed with World Bank field agents performing aid work in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. In addition to his efforts on GeoCam, Eric works as a robotics engineer building systems that help explore and understand remote environments.

Ted Morse works on many projects as a computer scientist for the Intelligent Robotics Group (IRG) at NASA Ames Research Center. He is the lead developer of phone-side applications for GeoCam. While his GeoCam efforts have focused on increasing situational awareness within the disaster response community, he truly believes that this technology can help the general public by combining GPS-enabled mobile platforms with small web applications. Prior to his role with GeoCam, Ted worked on the GigaPan Project, a gigapixel photographic system complete with a web interface for acquiring, stitching and viewing panoramas.

Mark joined GeoCam just a month ago, but he has worked for over a decade to bring robots and other technologies to emergency response and search and rescue. He is certified in multiple aspects of search and rescue including technical search, technical rescue, hazardous material response, and is a nationally certified fire fighter. Before joining the GeoCam team, he was a search specialist for the Massachusetts FEMA search and rescue team. Mark was a technical search robot operator during the World Trade Center Disaster and was a technical search specialist for Florida Task Force Three during the Hurricane Katrina response in Biloxi, Mississippi. His recent research leverages multi-touch tabletop, cell phone, and robot technology to bridge the gap between responders in the field and the incident command structure that supports them.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

GeoCam new app ideas for 2011

In the coming year, the GeoCam Project will develop several small apps instead of one big app.  Here are some ideas for new apps we might create in 2011.  We'd love to hear your ideas!

App 1: Group coordination.  Monitor team member positions, send geotagged messages, receive geo alerts when somebody enters a danger zone.

App 2: Search coverage heat map.  Initialize a heat map of likely victim locations from sources like Google Local business locations and USGS earthquake intensity.  Any search group, from government to an NGO or CERT team, can contribute to the map, or enter its location and skill level to learn what area it should cover to best serve the coordinated effort.

App 3: Community health and safety forum.  People at the disaster scene post questions or problems by text message.  Anyone can help, by answering a question, translating a request, extracting a place name so the request shows up on a map, classifying what help is needed, or flagging the request for urgent assistance.