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Facebook's 'disaster maps' to aid first responders after natural disasters

Posted: 8:40 AM, Jun 08, 2017
Updated: 2017-06-08 14:31:29-04

Facebook is using data to make a difference, aiming to help communities after natural disasters strike. 

The social media company introduced the concept of 'disaster maps' on its official blog this week. 

Facebook says that it worked closely with humanitarian organizations like the Red Cross and UNICEF to find out exactly what information would be the most helpful following a disaster.

From there, the company says they figured out a way to use aggregated and de-identified data to produce several maps that could aid in the recovery and rebuilding efforts. 

Location density maps are reportedly able to show where people are before, during and after a disaster.

There’s also movement maps that aim to show patterns of how people are moving between different locations over an hours-long period. 

And then there are safety check maps that are based off of where people use the feature to let friends know they are OK.

All of these maps, Facebook notes, will help organizations pinpoint the most affected areas and plan their assistance strategy accordingly. 

Read more details here.