Mobile phone tracking could revolutionise disaster aid response

Posted in: Mobile & Wireless at 04/09/2011 20:20

Mobile phones could track human movement during disasters or disease outbreaks, directing authorities in real time to where aid is needed most, new research has found.

Natural disasters displace tens of millions of people every year. But often governments and aid agencies have difficulty knowing where people have moved to, slowing down their response.

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Mobile phones help to target disaster aid, says study
Mobile phones of people fleeing natural disasters can be used to target emergency aid according to a new study.

The report reveals how scientists mapped population movements following the Haiti earthquake based on location data from two million handsets.

That information allowed aid organisations to channel relief supplies to those areas most in need.

Researchers are now setting up a non-profit organisation to provide location analysis for future disasters.

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