Patrick Meier

Using Swimming Robots to Warn Villages of Himalayan Tsunamis

Climate change is having a devastating impact on the Himalaya. On the Ngozumpa glacier, one of the largest and longest in the region, hundreds of supraglacial lakes dot the glacier surface. One lake in particular is known for its continuous ...

Aerial Robotics in the Land of the Buddha

Buddhist Temples adorn Nepal’s blessed land. Their stupas, like Everest, stretch to the heavens, yearning to democratize the sky. I felt the same yearning after arriving in Kathmandu with our UAVs. While some prefer the word “drone” over “UAVs”, ...

Using UAVs to Map an Ancient Wonder of the World

Patrick Meier is using UAVs, popularly called “drones”, to map out archaeological sites and aid humanitarian and environmental efforts. He partners with institutions around the globe to bring us amazing, interactive community projects and, of course, stunning aerial photos. It ...

Social Media: Pulse of the Planet?

In 2010, Hillary Clinton described social media as a new nervous system for our planet (1). So can the pulse of the planet be captured by looking at social media activity? There are many who are skeptical not least because of the ...

Digital Disaster Response to Typhoon Pablo

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) activated the Digital Humanitarian Network (DHN) on December 5th at 3pm Geneva time (9am New York). The activation request? To collect all relevant tweets about Typhoon Pablo posted on ...

How Crisis Mapping Saved Lives in Haiti

To map the world, is to know it. To map the world live is to change it before it’s too late. The National Geographic Society has a long history of crisis mapping disasters. But what happened in Haiti on ...

Back to the Future: On National Geographic and Crisis Mapping

Published in October 1888, the first issue of National Geographic Magazine “was a modest looking scientific brochure with an austere terra-cotta cover” (NG 2003). The inaugural publication comprised a dense academic treatise on the classification of geographic forms by genesis. But that ...