Saturday, September 3, 2005

Katrina PeopleFinder Project

What is the Katrina PeopleFinder Project?
Refugees can search 20 web sites for lost relatives and still miss an entry on the 21st web site. There is a need to combine all the refugee data from big databases like Red Cross and large posting forums like Craigslist. The Katrina PeopleFinder Project seeks to create a single database combining as many sources as possible from all over the web without interrupting existing momentum.

How did the Katrina PeopleFinder Project start?
Community organizers from the League of Pissed off Voters, themselves refugees from New Orleans, needed a tool to help people in the New Orleans and Gulf Coast area stay connected to the communities they love. Enlisting the aid of nonprofit technology assistance providers Radical Designs, Social Source Foundation, and CivicSpace Labs, the site was created with open source technologies designed by and for nonprofits.

Realizing the PeopleFinder tool could be used to aggregate databases and information from around the web, the Foundation joined the effort, combining corporate technology and resources with the power of the grassroots.

What is the Katrina PeopleFinder Project doing?
(1) Creating a technology specification for easily exchanging refugee information. A volunteer effort is working to assist online databases in implementing the specification.
Volunteer here:
(2) Coordinating volunteers that are writing software that takes information from online databases and putting it into a central database provided by Foundation.
Volunteer here:
(3) Organizing a massively parallel volunteer data entry project to enter refugee data posted to online bullitin boards into a central database by hand.
Volunteer here:

Who is involved?
The Social Source Foundation, CivicSpace Labs and Foundation are coordinating hundreds of people and organizations, including Craigslist and Earthlink.

IM: dgeilhufe yahoo com

A blog to keep up-to-date (
Social Source Foundation (
CivicSpaceLabs ( Foundation (
Craigslist (
Earthlink (

1 comment:

Exhomeless-Guy said... has many links (do a search) for missing people sites too, it's a search engine that lists thousands of disaster related pages compiled into one searchable database.