Mapmill is a tool to enable diaster responders to react faster to emergencies, by enabling citizens to rate aerial images of affected areas. Volunteers are shown individual, geotagged aerial photos, and asked to rate them "Hot or Not" style - undamaged, affected, or damaged. The judgements of the crowd as to which areas have been worst hit are then provided as a data feed to disaster responders to try to prioritize the deployment of relief assets.
The current version of Mapmill was developed at the Navy Postgraduate School's RELIEF event in Camp Roberts, California in August 2012 by the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team to try to improve collaboration between FEMA and the US Civil Air Patrol during natural disasters. The software was based on an earlier open source project produced by the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science.
During and after Hurricane Sandy, over 30,000 images were collected from CAP and hosted at sandy.hotosm.org, where over 150,000 judgements about damage depiction were aggregated and provided to FEMA. The volunteer work on the Mapmill site served to bolster the agency's situational awareness after the storm, and garnered considerable praise from FEMA administrators.
The Mapmill application lives at Github. In its current form, it is written in Ruby for Rails 2, and bears several wear marks from where it was adapted from its original purpose to the goal of accelerating disaster response.
THIS IS AN ONGOING PROJECT! Most of the work that needs to be done can be tackled and completed over this weekend. Even if you only have time to put in this weekend, your efforts are almost guaranteed to continue to be used by the project in the future. Please help!