Report from Mexico City

September 20, 2017
By

(This article was first published on R Views, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Editors Note: It has been heartbreaking watching the images from México City. Teresa Ortiz, co-organizer of R-Ladies CDMX reports on efforts of data scientists to help. Our thoughts are with them, and with the people of México.

It has been a hard couple of days around here.

In less than 2 weeks, México has gone through two devastating earthquakes and the damages keep adding. Nevertheless, the response from the citizens has been outstanding and Mexican data-driven initiatives have not stayed behind.

An example is codeandoMexico, an open innovation platform which brings together top talent through public challenges, codeandoMexico developed a Citizen’s quick response center with a directory of emergency phone numbers, providing the location of places that need help, maps, and more. Most of the information in the site is updated from first-hand experience of volunteers that are helping throughout the affected areas. Technical collaboration with codeandoMexico is open to everyone by attending to issues on their website these include extending the services offered by the site or attending to bugs.

Social networks are being extensively used to spread information about where and how to help, however often times tweets and facebook posts are fake or obsolete. There are several efforts taking place to overcome this difficulty; R-Ladies CDMX’s cofounder Silvia Gutierrez is working in one such project to map information on shelters, affected buildings and more (http://bit.ly/2xfIwZm).

The full scope of the damage is yet to be seen, but the support, both from México and other countries, is encouraging.

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