Within two weeks of the January 2010 Haiti earthquake, an innovative use of social networking facilitated the participation by many earthquake experts in the preliminary damage assessment that was submitted to the Government of Haiti. Many agencies were involved in this assessment, including the World Bank, which worked with a network of volunteer collaborators and ImageCat, Inc. The network that was created, the Global Earth Observation Catastrophe Assessment Network (GEO‐CAN), participated in the assessment of thousands of buildings, ultimately making an assessment of collapse or partial collapse for about 30,000 buildings, from aerial imagery and comparisons with pre‐event satellite Imagery. The network currently has over 600 participants and continues to grow. This workshop report summarizes recommendations from a small invitational workshop that was held to identify challenges and issues with using this social network in damage assessment, and to make recommendations for formalizing the network and improving its ability to contribute to future damage assessments.
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