Katie Couric's Notebook: Crisis Mapping

The word "ushahidi" means "witness" in Swahili. 

The website Ushahidi.org is a multimedia platform for up-to-date maps and social networking messages from all over the world.

That kind of technology has emerged as a high-tech tool in disasters like the Japan earthquake.

Complete Coverage: Disaster in Japan

Last year amid Haiti's devastation, volunteers pieced together an online map of Port-au-Prince, including roads that were open, bridges that were collapsed, and large centers of population as refugee camps grew throughout the city.

Crisis mapping expert Patrick Meier explained to us how crucial that information is...for rescue workers and everyday people alike. It gives them a greater situational awareness of real-time changes to the land and infrastructure.

Albert Einstein warned that our technology should not exceed our humanity. When used correctly, it can enhance it, and help people bear witness - from Tokyo - to Tripoli and beyond.

That's a page from my notebook.

I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.


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