A look at the ideas and projects we're working on as we strive to grow and improve ReliefWeb.
31 Jan 2013
blog By Viola Voss, Editor

The ReliefWeb editorial team discusses “creating" disasters on a daily basis. While we don’t literally create hurricanes, floods or earthquakes, we do create a separate page on ReliefWeb that provides easy access to all the relevant information under one disaster heading. A recent example is flooding in Mozambique:

This disaster page offers:

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02 Jan 2013
blog By Shuichi Odaka, Programme Officer Tags: search, filter, speed

We post a lot of content and frankly, we don’t expect everyone to read everything. This is why we put a lot of effort into making our search engine better. By clicking on the filters and typing search terms into the search box, you can easily narrow down on the items that really matter to you.

We’re happy that many of you have discovered the power of filters and search, as we now see that more people are using filters and search than clicking on “Next”. It’s great to see power users building complex queries like this one and this one.

There’s a lot you can do with filters and search, but as the query becomes more complex, the search needs more time to run. If you have a seriously complex query, the search could fail because your web browser can only wait so long to receive the results.

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12 Dec 2012
blog By Joel Opulencia, Information Management Officer, OCHA Tags: interactive Map

One of the most popular products we carry is the OCHA humanitarian snapshot - a full-page map focusing on several themes that combine geo-referenced information, graphics and textual summaries of an emergency. We take care in turning reliable data from UN agencies, governments and other humanitarian actors into visual insights. If you've worked in an emergency, you've probably come across snapshots passed around in meetings or referenced in reports.

Over the years we've received great feedback for the humanitarian snapshots. Among them, we heard people saying "Wouldn't it be nice if the maps were interactive, and we could download the data?"

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05 Dec 2012
blog By Viola Voss, Editor Tags: theme, search, filter

Long-time users of ReliefWeb might remember the separate Policy and Issues section on our old (that is pre-2011) website that focused on global analytical reports, evaluations, lessons learned, manuals, guidelines, etc. Our current site has fully integrated these types of documents, so that country-specific information of this kind doesn’t get overlooked. We explained this move on our feedback and support forum, but now we’re realizing that our focus on countries does make it harder to find general information on humanitarian issues and themes. That is why we’re currently working on a new thematic section for ReliefWeb. Here is a very early draft of what it might look like:

If you have any suggestions or ideas to make this section work for you, please let us know at the feedback forum or contact us.

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26 Nov 2012
blog By Shuichi Odaka, Programme Officer Tags: labs

If you’ve been visiting ReliefWeb for a while, you probably know ReliefWeb as a go-to place for humanitarian updates and jobs. A website like ours takes a good deal of effort just to keep it running, so we tend to focus on doing a few things well rather than spreading ourselves too thinly. But we don’t live under a rock either, and as the world around us changes, we constantly ask ourselves where ReliefWeb should go next. The shift to mobile computing, visualization and big data are some of the developments we are watching very closely.

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