Esri will closely support the US Agency for International Development (USAID) at the agency’s first-ever crowdsourcing initiative to make international development data accessible and transparent. The initiative will kick off at the USAID Innovation Lab in Washington, DC, at noon on Friday, June 1, 2012, and continue virtually until Sunday, June 3. Esri will participate in the event and provide a platform via ArcGIS Online that USAID can use to openly map the data after the event.
During the event, interested individuals, including volunteers from the online technical communities Standby Task Force and GIS Corps, will structure data on certain USAID economic growth activities and then geocode the data. After the event, USAID will release the complete geocoded dataset in line with the agency’s commitment to make development assistance information more available. As part of this commitment, USAID will map this data on ArcGIS Online so that anyone can explore and analyze the data.
“The US government is committed to opening data and increasing aid transparency; this pilot is an example of this commitment,” said Eric Postel, assistant administrator for Economic Growth, Education and Environment at USAID. “By enabling the crowd to help us sort through and clean nonconfidential data, we are able to release information that we never previously thought was possible.”
Providing public access to this information increases the possible use and value that the data will provide to USAID’s many stakeholders. With an appropriate basemap and the addition of other content found on ArcGIS Online, such as world demographic information, organizations and citizens can create, save, and share maps and web applications. These will enable further discussion, analysis, and action about important development strategies.
“I am excited to continue partnering with my colleagues at USAID to improve communication and collaboration for development activities,” said Jack Dangermond, president of Esri. “Using ArcGIS Online, anyone can leverage this data to better understand the important work that is being done around the world to address social, economic, business, and environmental concerns.”
[Source: Esri press release]