A look at the ideas and projects we're working on as we strive to grow and improve ReliefWeb.

Stay “alert” with ReliefWeb’s enhanced disaster monitoring system

By Andrew Kobylinski, Product Marketing / Communications Officer

Hundreds of natural disasters occur each year. According to UNOCHA’s World Humanitarian Data and Trends , natural disasters affected more than 124.5 million people worldwide in 2012. Having access to timely and relevant information is key for humanitarians to be prepared and effective in response.

At ReliefWeb, we aim to provide timely disaster information that is useful and relevant to the international humanitarian community. So when monitoring and publishing disaster information, we need to make an editorial decision as to when to categorize a situation as a "disaster". This involves assigning a unique identifier - GLIDE number - to the situation and publishing it in our “ Disasters ” section. Users who have signed up for “New disaster notifications” also receive an...Read more

Get national disaster management information straight from the source

By Andrew Kobylinski, Product Marketing / Communications Officer

Last year, we posted a blog discussing the editorial process behind ReliefWeb’s natural disaster coverage. The blog outlined how our editors monitor and gather information from a variety of reliable sources in order to provide you with timely and comprehensive disaster updates.

One of our key sources of disaster information are National Disaster Management Authorities (NDMA). During our daily information collection process, we monitor NDMA websites from around the world and regularly re-publish their information on ReliefWeb.

So as part of our continuous effort to offer useful information services to humanitarians, the ReliefWeb editorial team has created a comprehensive list of NDMAs from across the globe. We created this list in order to share with you one of the...Read more

How to use ReliefWeb - A new interactive online training

By Andrew Kobylinski, Product Marketing / Communications Officer

Are you new to ReliefWeb ? Or maybe feel that you need a refresher course on how to find humanitarian information? Then the new ReliefWeb Online Tour at DisasterReady.org could be just what you need.

With over 550,000 humanitarian situation reports, maps, news, press releases, evaluations, and guidelines available on ReliefWeb , and more than 100 new updates each day, finding specific humanitarian information can sometimes be overwhelming, especially when you are pressed for time before deployment or new to the site.

So ReliefWeb has teamed up with DisasterReady.org to create an online training tour that teaches you how to navigate ReliefWeb and make the most of some the most popular features. DisasterReady.org is a free, easy to use online training resource designed to...Read more

Visualizing humanitarian information through interactive maps

By Akiko Harayama

Producing rapidly changing and complex information is challenging at the best of times. Combine this with a sudden onset emergency, time constraints, a myriad of stakeholders with different information needs, and ensuring that information is in an easy-to-understand format, the task becomes even more difficult.

So, in order to address some of these challenges, OCHA’s Visual Information Unit (VIU), with technical support of ReliefWeb, has further developed the interactive map Beta released in December 2012 , to now also include humanitarian information, situation timelines and improved maps.

This pilot version of the interactive timeline map has used data collected during Typhoon Haiyan to simulate how multiple humanitarian data and information could be visually...Read more

Transforming humanitarian data into knowledge: Introducing the ReliefWeb API

By Andrew Kobylinski, Product Marketing / Communications Officer
Tags: API

Are you developing innovative online products for humanitarians? Do you want to incorporate ReliefWeb content and data in your website or online application? Then the new ReliefWeb API may be just what you’re looking for.

It’s been eight months since we released the initial version of the API to a small number of interested developers. We were encouraged by the interest and feedback, but we also quickly realized that there was a lot more to APIs than just making it work - we needed to turn it into a real product.

So, we have been working with Development Seed and Phase2 to refine our API and developers’ resources. The result is ReliefWeb API version 1.0, which we are releasing to the public today.

For all our non-techie humanitarian users, API is short for “...Read more