Katrina Data Entry Doohickey

Oh, and before I crash, Jonas and I have been working on a data entry tool for the PeopleFinder project, it’s not really workign yet but hopefully we’ll get it moving. You can see the mockup here: Katrina PeopleFinder Data Entry Tool. Comments welcome. I posted a description on the mailing list just a few minutes ago, going to see if there are responses in the morning. (Link in my previous post.)

Might not make sense if you’re not familiar with the project. If not, click the image to the right, there’s room for everyone.


…oh, and one more thing:

The ever Jeff Jarvis analyzes how to do all this recovery stuff better next time. Which, sadly, is probably unavoidable.

One small observation: as Ethan Zuckerman pointed out, the task of automating name extraction in all these screen scraping endeavors is a project which is not something which can be done on the fly. If your source post mentions James Doe and later Jimmy, you really can’t determine in an automatic way whether those two names refer to the same person.

I would point out, however, that at least you can find both of those names in an automated fashion. In the Natural Language Processing world this is called “Named Entity Extraction,” and there are some pretty sophisticated techniques out there. One thing that could be done would be to somehow highlight those automatically extracted names so the data entry folks could quickly move them into a structured database.

But as Ethan points out, in the meantime, it’s far better to simply organize the energies of lots of bright volunteers.

Leave a Comment

Please wrap code snippets in <code> tags, thanks!