May 28, 2010

App Allows You To Report Oil From Spill

Software developers have created a new application for the iPhone that will allow members of the public to report the presence of oil stemming from the leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

International volunteer network CrisisCommons developed the new application, called "Oil Reporter", to let people be a part of the recovery effort by using real-time check-ins to report what they are seeing on the ground, said the group of technical and business professionals.

"Users can upload photos and videos, report oil sightings, harmed wildlife sightings and much more," said CrisisCommons in a statement.

CrisisCommons said the data collected from the application will be mapped and managed by the Visualization Center at San Diego State University.

"We want people to share what they see and to allow that information to be shared with everyone," CrisisCommons said. "We believe that if people share what they see and that information can be placed on a map, it can help organizations and communities with their response efforts."

The application, which is also available for mobile phones using Google's Android operating system, provides phone numbers on where to report oiled beaches and wildlife as well as volunteer information links.

YouTube, meanwhile, was urging users of the video-sharing website to upload suggestions they may have on how to stop the flow of oil from the well and clean up the damages left by the disaster.

As of Thursday afternoon, more than 7,300 suggestions were submitted by more than 15,000 people.

Now considered the worst oil spill in US history, surpassing the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska, British oil giant BP was attempting to plus the well on Thursday.

CrisisCommons has set up a website for the Oil Reporter application at oilreporter.org.