Citizen scientists aid Ecuador earthquake relief

Planet Labs, Inc/www.planet.com. CC-BY-SA A Planet Labs satellite image of the coastal province of Guayas, Ecuador, after the 16 April earthquake. After a magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck Ecuador’s Pacific coast on 16 April, a new ally joined the international relief effort: a citizen-science network called Zooniverse. On 25 April, Zooniverse launched a website that asks volunteers to analyse rapidly-snapped satellite imagery of the disaster, which led to more than 650 reported deaths and 16,000 injuries. The aim is to help relief workers on the ground to find the most heavily damaged regions and identify which roads are passable. Several crisis-mapping programmes with thousands of volunteers already exist — but it can take days to train satellites on the damaged region and to transmit data to humanitarian organizations, and results have not…


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