Randomness, Podcasting, Twitter, More: Saturday Buzz, May 2nd, 2015


What OpenStreetMap did right after the Nepal earthquake. “In only 48 hours after the quake, over 2,000 mappers quadrupled road mileage and added 30% more buildings. This is in addition to the great data created by the local community well before the quake…. Within hours of the earthquake, HOT [Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team] had already defined priority areas for mapping and how tasks would be distributed to volunteers worldwide using the HOT task manager. The OpenStreetMap community quickly came together in massive support, tracing out details like mountain roads, forest trails and the location of human settlements from available satellite imagery in one of the most isolated regions of the world.”


MakerSpace is a new social media network for makers.

There is a new source for civic tech news: Civicist. “We think of civic tech as a big tent. It includes civic apps—tools or platforms designed primarily for a civic purpose—but it also encompasses big apps or platforms that have civic effects. That comprises everything from SeeClickFix or NationBuilder in the former case, to Yelp (when people use it to review government services) or Google (with its Civic Information API) in the latter. People working to upgrade government’s use of technology—govtech—are certainly part of the civic tech ecosystem when their efforts involve engaging with the public.”


Oooh, if you never see me again it’s because of this article. It explains how to get a random thing (Wikipedia page, WikiHow entry, Wolfram|Alpha query, etc) every time you open a new tab in Chrome.

Interested in podcasting? ReadWrite offers some options for good sound on a budget.

I know you’re not exactly going to be shocked at the idea that there are things on the Internet which are not true. (Let us all pause here for a moment and clutch our pearls in unison.) But This article on false image usage on Twitter in wake of the Baltimore unrest which give you an idea of how bad it is and how little you should trust.

From Hongkiat: 10 Reasons Why You Should Search Using DuckDuckGo.


Bing has released several new APIs and developer resources.

Hmm! Amazon Alexa now has an IFTTT channel.


Facebook and Europe are having a little spat. “Not merely bemoaning excess regulation, Facebook expresses unhappiness at the fragmented and inconsistent sets of requirements it has to abide by in each country. It’s presently subject to various investigations in countries like the Netherlands and Germany, which Allan describes as ‘overlapping’ and rehashing the ‘months of demanding, technical audits’ that Facebook already underwent when it set itself up in Ireland.”


A new project will track public sentiment about vaccines through Twitter. “The research team will use algorithms to compare survey data with Twitter data analyses, measuring billions of tweets against the results of traditional surveys about how people make decisions about vaccines, and why. The goal is to enable researchers to use social media as a reliable complement and alternative to more expensive, more time-consuming methods like surveys. Findings will be shared online, available to public health and social science researchers interested in developing and using similar tools to analyze social media data.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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