Collabbit: A New FOSS Tool for Emergency Management

by Ostatic Staff - Oct. 05, 2009

We've covered some of the many strong open source applications and platforms aimed at humanitarian efforts. They include tools for disaster relief management, earthquake research and management applications, and mobile healtchcare efforts aimed at developing countries. Now, there is a new open source emergency response center application called Collabbit, housed on Google Code and aimed at coordination between groups and individuals during disasters.

As Collabbit's home page makes clear, the application is under active development but won't be released in final form for a couple of months. According to the site:

"As a communication tool, Collabbit aims to facilitate inter- and intracommittee communication in case of a disaster or other event that requires coordination between multiple organizations or individual users. The system is centered around instances (such as disasters) which have updates, intended to provide progress reports about the instance. Updates are submitted by users on behalf of committees; they have a description and may contain attached files. The system also provides a contact directory where users can be found based on their agencies and committees."

Collabbit is a rewrite, using Ruby On Rails, of a previous project called VirtualEOC (Virtual Emergency Operations Center). It sends out its missives to people that it is coordinating through RSS and text messages. The project is overseen by the Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software (HFOSS) organization, which offers a number of other humanitarian open source applications.