The Katrina Hurricane disaster, like the Tsunami disaster last December, has created an unprecedented challenge for the information society.
On the one hand, we have increasingly efficient technology capable of connecting people worldwide in real time. We are all sitting on capable machines, have screens, have keyboards, phones, browsers, voice links.
On the other hand, data and information about the displaced is being created and sourced in various locations, but in different formats, that are incompatible. That's no use.
In order to allow this data to be used 'interchangeably' by different users, it is vital to adopt a common data format.
Teams are currently working at developing a common data format that, if adopted evenly by all data source producers, can facilitate the automated search and retrieval of people data.
Common data will help automated systems to connect displaced individuals via automatic categorization and matching.
Anyone working at making lists of people that should be matched, should try to get up to date with the current data format being developed
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