ReliefWeb 2014 - A snippet of what’s to come

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Andrew Kobylinski
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2013 has been a big year for ReliefWeb! We collected and published over 42,000 humanitarian updates and launched many new initiatives such as Topics pages, the ReliefWeb mobile site and APIs. There were over 11.8 million visits during the year and we reached the amazing milestone of publishing 500,000 reports and maps since our launch in 1996. But that’s now in the past! So looking forward in this blog update, we want to give you a little snippet of what’s to come in 2014.

Improved APIs - In 2013 we launched our APIs, which are designed to help humanitarian developers create online applications and functionality using ReliefWeb’s content. We’re currently working on a big project to maximise the potential of our APIs with improved flexibility, structure and documentation. These improvements will enable developers to create new applications using a more logical and sophisticated API.

User Survey - In 2014 we will be undertaking an important survey to develop a better understanding of you, the user. We’re hoping to find out more about who you are and what information you want to access. The results will help us to design, create and implement new products and features that meet your humanitarian information needs.

Organizations Pages - To help make finding humanitarian updates much easier, in 2014 we will be introducing a new search category ‘Organizations’. Say you’re looking for a report, update, map, job or training from a specific organization such as OCHA, ACTED, or Save the Children. The new organizations directory allows you to easily find that organization along with all of their content that is available on ReliefWeb, including reports, maps, jobs and trainings.

Interactive maps - ReliefWeb has great maps, but wouldn't it be even better if they were more than static pictures? We’re working on a new interactive mapping project and making great progress. The new maps will help you digest humanitarian information through an interactive format. With the click of the mouse you will get statistics, reports and timelines from a overarching geographical perspective.

Improved search functionality - There are over half a million reports and maps published on ReliefWeb. In 2013 approximately 45% of these humanitarian updates were viewed. This statistic tells us that people search for and look at many different kinds of the reports and maps within our database including both the latest and historical updates. So to help you more easily find what you're looking for, we are working on improving our search functionality, which will allow you to narrow down your results using improved variables.

This is just a small sample of the improvements we hope to implement in 2014. By following our ReliefWeb roadmap strategy we hope to become the ‘one stop shop’ for humanitarian information. We are also always looking for new ideas to help humanitarians get the information they need, so if you have an new ideas for future ReliefWeb functionality feel free to contact us at anytime. We are always keen for suggestions and ideas that come directly from our users. So send us an email, tweet us (@reliefweb) or simply leave a comment below.