A look at the ideas and projects we're working on as we strive to grow and improve ReliefWeb.
20 Mar 2013
blog By Shuichi Odaka Tags: mobile, API, labs

Suppose you are at a bus stop and have two minutes of idle time. You pull out your phone, go to ReliefWeb and find out what's happening in the humanitarian world (OK, maybe after you've checked your timeline on Facebook or Twitter). This scenario - two minutes at a bus stop - is what we had in mind when building ReliefWeb Mobile.

As noted on ReliefWeb Labs, we've been working quietly on a version of ReliefWeb (https://reliefweb.int) for mobile phones. We want it to give you an at-a-glance view of the humanitarian world, be simple to use, and run fast over mobile connections, but without compromising your ability to reach into the depths of ReliefWeb's rich content.

We've been running the mobile site with a small group of testers and we think it's ready to be rolled out to a wider audience. To get started, go right over to m.rwlabs.org.

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21 Feb 2013
blog By Viola Voss

It may be the Year of the Snake in the Chinese Horoscope, but for the team at ReliefWeb this was always going to be the “Year of the Hub”. This is the year that we take ReliefWeb from its current state and develop it into a one-stop-shop – or Hub – for humanitarian information.

Our aim remains the same – to provide those engaged in humanitarian work with quick access to relevant and reliable information, so that they can keep up-to-date on situations and take more informed decisions. The approach is two-fold – first, we will build out the ReliefWeb service to offer a portfolio of useful products and services (see our roadmap below). Second, we will make ReliefWeb interoperable with essential information services (see our Labs projects), to include a tighter integration with Humanitarian Response, the new field information service developed by OCHA.

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19 Feb 2013
blog By Viola Voss Tags: My Account, Notifications

Anyone can use ReliefWeb, and most features on our site are accessible without signing up for an account. But did you know that if you have an account and log in, you can get new content delivered via email and save your favorite reports, maps, jobs and training events?

Only when you log in can you see an option at the bottom of the filters on country and disaster pages that allows you to subscribe to report updates. For example, if you go to the South Sudan country page and check the box, you will get an email every day with links to all the new reports and maps on the South Sudan crisis posted on our site. If you’re interested in following the relief and recovery efforts for Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the Philippines, you only need to go to the disaster page and check the box there.

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31 Jan 2013
blog By Viola Voss

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 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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