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United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Genocide Prevention Mapping Initiative

Added by Mark Rosenthal, last edited by Mark Rosenthal on Jun 26, 2008 9:25 AM


Case Summary

Teaching about genocide past and present is the main motivation behind The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Genocide Prevention Mapping Initiative. Through the power of Google Earth along with data/information, photos and testimonials, it is hoped that greater awareness and knowledge about genocide will be generated, helping genocide prevention.

Business Challenge

It was perceived that Google Earth would provide a visual representation of the Holocaust, making the Holocaust easier to learn for many people. However, the museum also felt that teaching about genocide taking place in our time today was important as well which is why The World is Witness (global crisis map) was launched. This program teaches about genocide going on throughout the World by using the same technology and information used for the teaching of the Holocaust. A specific focus of the genocide prevention mapping initiative is given to the crisis taking place in Darfur.

Approach Taken

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Mapping initiative is a mashup. The initiative applies GIS technology from Google Earth to maps to provide an innovative educational experience. In order to document the destruction in Darfur, the Holocaust Museum compared satellite photos from 2004 through 2007 in order to see what villages were affected. "The Crisis in Darfur" Google Earth program started by the Holocaust Memorial Museum allows users to observe which villages have been damaged or destroyed, where exactly refugees are located, while also including photos, videos and testimonials to specific locations. Information and content for The Crisis in Darfur program was gathered from the U.S. State Department, non-governmental organizations, the United Nations, individual photographers, and the Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The Museum's mapping of the Holocaust through Google Earth used similar aspects to the Darfur program (photos, testimonials), but it had much more information available since you are able to download a time line layer of the concentration camps and a Holocaust Encyclopedia. When clicking on a particular point of interest, the encyclopedia will provide you with a vast amount of knowledge about what it is and how it relates to the Holocaust. The sponsors of the genocide prevention mapping initiative along with The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum are Humanity United and The MacArthur Foundation.

Results Achieved

This new technology enables roughly 200 million Google Earth users the opportunity to learn about the Holocaust, the genocide in Darfur and genocide going on around the World.

Lessons Learned

What was learned was that there is new technology that can be harnessed and used in order to educate people on specific issues. The mapping initiative also allowed the Holocaust Memorial Museum to provide genocide awareness and prevention information to people they might not of normally had access to.

References

1.http://www.monstersandcritics.com/tech/news/article_1289841.php/Darfur_Mapping_Initiative_launched_by_Google_and_US_Holocaust_Museum
2.http://www.ushmm.org/maps/projects/darfur/
3.http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/pressrel/darfur_mapping.html

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