The iWitness Pollution Map is produced by the Louisiana Bucket Brigade (LABB). This map was created so that you - fenceline communities, workers and concerned citizens - can speak out about how petrochemical pollution is threatening your livelihood, your health and the ecosystems you rely on.
The map utilizes the Ushahidi crowd-sourcing platform to map eyewitness accounts of chemical accidents. Ushahidi was first used and developed by Kenyan bloggers to display reports of post-election violence. Since then Ushahidi has been used in other emergencies like the Haiti Earthquake response and to track crime in Atlanta. LABB's map was the first application of Ushahidi in a humanitarian response in the United States.
Tulane University Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy
Payson Center for International Development
Radical Designs [site host]
Data for the base layers were sourced from:
Icons were used with permission from Green Maps, a non-governmental organization that promotes inclusive participation in sustainable community development worldwide using mapmaking.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the iWitness Pollution Map?
This map visualizes reports of chemical accidents submitted via text message, email and the web. Reports of oil spills, flaring, odors and health effects made by eyewitnesses and the media populate points on this interactive, web-based map. The information will be used to provide data about the impacts of industrial pollution in real time as well as document the stories of those who witness it.
Why does this map matter?
This map utilizes public testimony to visualize the impact of chemical accidents and the BP Oil Disaster over time and geography. By using information that comes from community members we will be able to track, document and make public the effects of industrial pollution. This will facilitate transparency, accountability and effectiveness in industry and government's response to chemical emergencies.
What happened to the Oil Spill Crisis Map?
It's still here! All the testimony and reports from the Oil Spill Crisis Map are archived on the new iWitness Pollution Map. Anyone can still submit reports documenting effects of the BP Oil Disaster. Though unprecedented in its scale and impact, we recognize the BP Oil Disaster is part of a larger culture of accidents and spills that occur on a daily basis in the Gulf region. We wanted to create a tool to document ALL types of chemical accidents and the new name — iWitness Pollution Map — reflects this.
Who can use it?
Anyone who sees, smells or feels the impacts of chemical accidents and has access to a cell phone or computer can make a report. We are asking residents near industry and anyone else in impacted areas to assist us in getting people to make reports of what they are experiencing. The more reports submitted the more powerful each individual report becomes.
What types of reports are on the iWitness Pollution Map?
There are three main categories of reports. Chemical Accident reports are from concerned citizens, media or other eyewitnesses. BP Oil Spill reports are observations connected to the 2010 BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
The third report category is NRC reports. Through a partnership between LABB and SkyTruth, the map also displays National Response Center reports of chemical accidents in the state of Louisiana and the surrounding Gulf of Mexico waters. Administered by the U.S. Coast Guard, the NRC receives reports from responsible parties as well as anonymous witnesses/observers.
How can I make a report?
How can I find out if accidents are happening near me?
Subscribe to our Get Alerts feature! You can get alerts sent to your e-mail or phone when a report is submitted near you. To sign-up click HERE.
What happens to the information I report?
All reports are made public and available for viewing on the map. Reports will appear after they have been approved. Reporters can choose to remain anonymous or share their contact information with us, which will not be made public or shared without consent.
How can I help?
Make a report! The more reports made, the more useful the information on the map becomes. This system depends on participation from those directly impacted by chemical accidents and industrial pollution. With enough of community reports we will be able to provide immediate data on the impact of pollution, facilitate transparency and accountability and document eyewitness testimony.
Get the word out! Tell your friends, family members, neighbors and social networks about the iWitness Pollution Map. The more people who know about this tool the better.