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Crowdmapping is a subtype of crowdsourcing[1][2] by which aggregation of crowd-generated inputs such as captured communications and social media feeds are combined with geographic data to create a digital map that is as up-to-date as possible[3] on events such as wars, humanitarian crises, crime, elections, or natural disasters.[4][5][6] Such maps are typically created collaboratively by people coming together over the Internet.[3][7]

The information can typically be sent to the map initiator or initiators by SMS or by filling out a form online and are then gathered on a map online automatically or by a dedicated group.[8] In 2010, Ushahidi released "Crowdmap" − a free and open-source platform by which anyone can start crowdmapping projects.[9][10][11][12][13]

Uses

Crowdmapping can be used to track fires, floods, pollution,[7] crime, political violence, the spread of disease and bring a level of transparency to fast-moving events that are difficult for traditional media to adequately cover, or problem areas[7] and longer-term trends and that may be difficult to identify through the reporting of individual events.[6]

During disasters the timeliness of relevant maps is critical as the needs and locations of victims may change rapidly.[3]

The use of crowdmapping by authorities can improve situational awareness during an incident and be used to support incident response.[7]

Crowdmaps are an efficient way to visually demonstrate the geographical spread of a phenomenon.[8]

Examples