Navigating War Zones


Navigating war zones has never been easy for aid workers and UN agencies. As the fighting earlier this year in Gaza has shown, streets are demolished, new thoroughfares run through old houses, and new military check-points provide a constantly changing city grid. To solve that problem, a new NGO called OpenStreetMap is seeking to provide a new, online map resource for humanitarian efforts in Gaza. Updated by bloggers on the ground, news reports, satellite imagery, and information from the aid agencies themselves, the OpenStreetMap offers real-time cartography. Al Jazeera has begun employing similar technology too, which aims to use Twitter and other social networking services to provide witness to atrocities and civilian deaths on the ground in the Palestinian enclave.