Team Rubicon’s US military veterans help Palantir Technologies engineers adapt realtime geo-mapping tech from the battlefields of Afghanistan to disaster zones after Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Thomas Hudson
“I was in Afghanistan a week ago using this same system to track terrorists” Palantir Technologies embedded analyst Alec Augustine-Marceil says as he gestures toward laptops on a table. “In Helmand, we use a secure satellite network. Here, we use Android phones,” says Palantir philanthropic engineer Brian Fishman. TechChange journalist Christopher Neu calls it “When Nerds Cross the Rubicon”.
In Operation Greased Lightning, the brain of Team Rubicon’s forward operations directs every move from a biodiesel-powered 1981 tour bus as its cranium: Gordon Soderberg’s “Veterans’ Green Bus.” Battlefield intelligence developer Palantir Technologies has adapted their multi-source geo-mapping and analysis software to disaster response.
Stationed in the Veterans’ Green Bus, Palantir Technologies engineers and Team Rubicon’s US military veterans work together to adapt multi-source geo-mapping tech from the battlefields of Helmand Province to disaster zones after Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Thomas Hudson
With input from recon teams armed with smart phones and iPads, partner organizational databases, resident reports and more, Palantir creates a realtime bird’s eye view for our teams. This is war on disaster, and you are looking at superpower-funded intelligence technology transformed into the Rubicon-exclusive bloody razor’s edge of disaster response.
A Team Rubicon recon team checks in with residents of the Rockaways to assess damages and upload data to the Palantir geo-mapping network. Photo by Andrew Herrold
A member of a Team Rubicon recon team assesses damages to a home in the Rockaways, Queens, New York, after Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Andrew Herrold
A Team Rubicon recon team updates their maps in the field with data from the Palantir network. Photo by Thomas Hudson
A map of the Rockaways shows completed and outstanding work orders on 7 November. Image Courtesy Palantir Technologies
A Team Rubicon work crew clears debris from a storm-damaged home in Rockaway Beach after Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Marc Fiorito
Nick Ferrari of Team Rubicon shows another TR volunteer how to process work requests on his iPad at a satellite community volunteer hub in the Rockaways. Photo by Thomas Hudson
Dan Gorman briefs US military veteran team leaders at F.O.B. Hope in Rockaway Beach, in front of the Veterans’ Green Bus, before they lead work crews of spontaneous volunteers into the disaster zone of Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Thomas Hudson
Palantir Technologies’ embedded analyst Alec Augustine-Marceil mans the helm of the Palantir geo-mapping network in the Veterans’ Green Bus at Team Rubicon’s F.O.B. Hope in Rockaway Beach, Queens, New York, after Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Kyle Murphy
Spontaneous volunteers pour into Team Rubicon’s F.O.B. Hope in Rockaway Beach, Queens, New York, to be given tools, work orders, and team leaders to help remediate the disaster caused by Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Thomas Hudson