This afternoon I heard this story on NPR. It’s not the first time OpenStreetMap was mentioned as an asset in the relief effort. It was also mentioned three days ago in a story sourced from the Associated Press.
Open Source, open data, and open standards make it possible to not only optimize for the common problem, but to be sufficiently adaptable and flexible to address even the most unimaginable problems. The less certain we are about the future, the more certain we must be about protecting these important principles and properties of our technology resources.