Sideswipes: Collaborative Media

The landscape of media is predominantly about the visual -- pictures, video, gifs. What's underneath that landscape we rarely ask. But of course it's code. A swirl of ones and zeros power the visual imagery, yet we rarely think about that code until something happens that exposes the good that code does.

Enter the Nepal earthquake.

Code is the foundation of relief efforts that have been extraordinary in terms of code sideswiping media. The earthquake in Nepal has brought the two together in a unique way -- part storytelling, part humanitarian aid. The storytelling has come to life through traditional media channels, like thenepalphotoproject on Instagram, but the humanitarian aid has come to life through open data projects powering solutions to the devastation that media lets us see.

Code for Nepal has a map of earthquake deaths, damaged houses, and injuries. The open data project produces data viz that shows sources and needs to generate relief. Over at MIT, a humanitarian technology festival will take place this weekend focused on leveraging code and media for disaster response.



It makes us think twice when we see the quake footage to know the power behind the images is a groundswell of people writing code. It's collaborative media -- for good.

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