Attempting to centralize Katrina Data – and they need programming help

by way of Rocky Lhotka’s blog where he is also passing on the information:
We’re a few local (ATL) ASP.NET programmers who have created a central datastore, collection web interfaces, and processing system for missing/safe person data on people affected by hurricane katrina.
The idea caught on quick… we’ve only got 2 guys working on this full time and a third helping out when he can. Since going online we’ve ben contacted by LOTS of groups who want to work with us. We’re overwhelmed and need help… we’ve got plans for a mobile device interface to our data, and are working with a callcenter fielding calls from disaster victims (the callcenter needs some special enhancements to the interface we can’t get to fast enough.). We’re being listed as the central survivors database on the emergency web terminals being deployed in disaster zones ( )
We’ve got people on the ground at shelters trying to gather lists and transmit them to our datastore electronically. We’re also contacting almost 50 other websites which have lists or data collection systems… they are starting to use our MSP file spec and transmit data to us.
If you could get the word out that we are looking for volunteer programmers who can hit the ground running and take ownership of some of the special projects we have WE WOULD APPRECIATE IT.. but there are people out there looking for loved ones who would appreciate it even more.
Current experience we need:
  • .net mobile framework using our data classes to collect and process data
  • string data parsing experience… there’s a lot of data in forum posts we can’t use but could triple our data if we could parse into useful fields
  • Mass emailing system… as our system processes incoming bulk data, it makes matches between searchers and safe persons, flagging them as needed contact via email. We need a system to read from a database table containing these contact requests and send them out
  • any general ASP.NET (we’re using VB) experience to help build special lookups and interfaces
I hate to make such a request on a holiday weekend, but we are swamped.
Please spread the word if you can.
Developer, The Katrina Data Project

email: john at katrinadataproject dot com

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