Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Social Media Keeps Tabs on Gulf Oil Spill

We are all aware of the explosion that resulted in the devastating oil spill from a BP offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico only a few weeks ago. With thousands of news articles circulating the internet keeping track of the ongoing crisis and its progress can sometimes get a little overwhelming. Geoff Livingston, co-founder of Zoetica media posted a great article on Mashable How to: Monitor the Gulf Oil Spill Using Social Media that shows readers the sources they should be keeping track of. Livingston goes on to list the four ways non-profit and governmental organizations are helping citizens stay up-to-date with the ongoing Gulf crisis:

1. Grassroots Mapping Provides Accurate Pictures

Through their use of balloons, kites and other simple tools, Grassroots Mapping is able to produce their own aerial images of the oil spill, offering complete and open access to spill imagery and broadcasts these images on websites like Flickr.

2. Deepwater Horizon Command Online

The U.S. government is taking an active part in keeping citizens informed about the current crisis through their Deepwater Horizon Unified Command Response effort online where you can receive the latest updates, blog posts, FAQs, as well as links to Twitter, Facebook, Youtube videos and access to hundreds of pictures.

3. Another Great Ushahidi Crisis Map

After becoming incredibly well-known for its fantastic mapping of the Haiti crisis, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade reported that they will be using the technology to develop an oil spill crisis map.

4. Greenpeace Provides Ongoing Coverage

Greenpeace USA has an ongoing blog updated daily about the oil spill where readers can find the latest news and images from the Gulf. Their coverage includes videos, blog posts, maps and Flickr images in addition to a counter that tabulates the minimum estimated amount of gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico thus far.

With access to so many great and informative resources we should all be staying on track with the latest media coverage. Besides these great resources, what additional sites do you use to stay updated on the crisis?

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