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International development & technology: What’s working and what’s new

News from Google

Posted by Sonal Shah, Head of Global Development Initiatives, and Bob Boorstin, Washington Director of Policy CommunicationsLast month, Google and hosted more than 80 technology decisionmakers from international development non-profits for an interactive discussion at our Washington D.C. office. Over lunch, case study presentations and hands-on sessions, participants discussed the ways technology is changing the landscape of international development -- and how to take advantage of new tools for fundraising, communication, data visualization, and online collaboration.

Speakers highlighted the benefits of cloud computing and demonstrated how to display data on maps and interactive graphs with products like Google Earth and Trendalyzer. A representative from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum discussed how the Museum created a Darfur layer on Google Earth that gives "publicly accessible evidence of destruction to help visually refute claims of minimal collateral damage from war." The YouTube breakout session explored how cheap video cameras paired with an on-the-ground presence can help document and spread awareness of ongoing crises abroad. Participants even made their own videos to talk about how the Internet is changing the development world:

Special thanks to our friends at the International Rescue Committee, MercyCorps, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum for sharing stories of their experiences in taking advantage of new technologies. For those who are interested, we're posting the presentations on YouTube.

We hope that this event will be the first of many discussions, workshops, and other public events we hold with non-profits in our new D.C. space.

published @ September 1, 2008

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