"We Help Each Other" (WHEO) is an open web mapping project initiated by a group of volunteers in the Geographic Information System (GIS) professional and academic communities.
The idea of this open project is to develop a user-friendly, community-based, informative web mapping platform that can allow people help each other LOCALLY during or after disasters within their communities. The platform will focus on user-centered design and adopt intelligent information ranking methods to provide more accurate and important information for users (improving the credibility of information provided by the general public and filtering out wrong information).
There are several nice web mapping applications displaying the disaster responses and recovery efforts information for Japan Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, such as:
- Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis
- Ushahidi - in Japan
However, most of these web applications are not designed specifically for the general public who may need critical community services or who can provide community services for local regions. We hope that the WHEO project can provide an open platform to allow volunteered GIS professionals and programmers to develop truly community-based web mapping services for sharing and exchanging information during or after natural disasters.
This project is a volunteer-based project (similar to open source software projects); the participants and leaders of the project will not get any financial supports personally. The web application developers will collaborate together from distributed places (in different countries) via the Internet.