Drupal is BIG

Yesterday we launched a Request For Proposal to redesign one of our Drupal-based websites. We published it in the corresponding website, also in drupal.org and we send it to a couple of contacts. In just two days we’ve got about fifty different people interested in the project. Wow.

I don’t know about the quality of the responses we’ll get, but so far we cannot complain! Drupal is going to be a lot of fun in the following months.

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Straight to the map

OK, this is pretty cool:

GPS and photos with the N78

Yesterday I went to watch Ironman and on my way back home I decided to take some crappy pictures every 5 minutes to test the mobile’s GPS. The map above is the result (click to get the actual one): the trail starts at the cinema in the top-right region, and finishes in my place at the bottom-left.

To get the map I didn’t have to do anything special. Just uploaded the photos to Picasa and you’re done (I couldn’t make it work with Flickr yet). You get a map with your photos georeferenced, and a automatic KML in case you prefer using the Google Earth imagery.

During the last months at the office we’ve spent a considerable amount of work georeferencing our data and putting it on maps. A problem we’ve detected is that workers in the field do not have the necessary devices (software, GPS) to enhance the data-collecting or the post-processing. I can’t wait to see this technologies reaching the field.

The Dangers of the Deltas

The Dangers of the Deltas

Cyclone Nargis and its aftermath, on the other hand, provide a vivid study in how poverty and insufficient government investment can turn a natural disaster into an outsize human tragedy, said Debarati Guha-Sapir, the director of the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Center for Research on Disaster Epidemiology, in Brussels.

“The villages are in such levels of desperation — housing quality, nutritional status, roads, bridges, dams — that losses were more determined by their condition rather than the force of the cyclone,” she said.

The Dangers of the Deltas @ The New York Times.

In the media: The educated guesswork of estimating Darfur deaths

Darfur

Fortunately our reports get (biiig) media attention from time to time. Several days ago I promised I was going to speak a little more about the things we’re doing here, so I’ll start linking some of these articles from now on. I’m gonna start with this one published yesterday by Agence France-Presse (AFP), titled “The educated guesswork of estimating Darfur deaths“:

When a top UN official released a new estimated death toll of 300,000 for Darfur this week, he reignited a lively debate about just how accurate such statistics are. […] In an Op-Ed to the Financial Times in 2005, Professor Debarati Guha-Sapir, head of the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) and a professor of epidemiology at Louvain’s Catholic University in Brussels, warned that “sensational numbers do not help the Darfur cause.”

The full article is here.

Other selected articles from this year:

Update: En français.

Update 2: Suffering lost in a numbers game — “While the UN and Khartoum disagree over exactly how many people have died in Darfur, the long-term outlook remains grim.”