Posts by: Ari Gesher

Detecting Human Rights Violations Using Medium Resolution Imagery

Dr. Andrew Marx of the US Department of State and a fellow at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for the Prevention of Genocide, developed a novel method for analyzing archived data from NASA’s Landsat ETM+ mission to better understand when and where specific villages were destroyed in the Darfur conflict from 2003-08. This study provides the most comprehensive documentation of the geospatial and temporal patterns of villages destroyed in that genocide. This analysis can help determine patterns of coordination between various military forces carrying out attacks or potentially with the Sudanese central government (Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes related to the genocide in Darfur). Understanding these patterns also has the potential to help determine if actions by the international community, such as international condemnations of genocide, had any impact on the rate of attacks.

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HuffPost Live: fighting human trafficking through better data analysis


Human trafficking is a global problem involving the deception, enslavement, labor and sexual exploitation of vulnerable people. While human traffickers are avid users of technologies like social networking sites to find and target victims, technology is also playing an important role in enabling anti-trafficking organizations to combat the problem. The fight against human trafficking is one of the current priorities of Palantir’s Philanthropic Engineering Team, a team dedicated to solving important problems that face our world through donations of our technology and expertise. On 10 July, our Philanthropy Engineering lead, Jason Payne, participated in a Huffington Post webcast on how technology is being used to combat human trafficking. The webcast featured a panel made up of experts from Palantir, Google, Polaris Project, and CNN.

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Palantir testifies at House Subcommittee Hearing


While teams of veteran relief volunteers and Palantir engineers deployed to Oklahoma to provide relief in the aftermath of one of the widest tornadoes ever recorded, the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee asked experts to testify at a panel addressing Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications. On June 4, Palantir’s Jason Payne joined Google’s Matthew Stepka and others at the Subcommittee hearing to discuss the importance of open data portals and information sharing in disaster scenarios.

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Palantir Hack Week 2012

Hack Week is a hallowed tradition at Palantir, a time when all scheduled work stops and our engineers spend a week exploring new ideas, playing with different technologies, and building something from the ground up. People from across the company form ad-hoc teams and scramble to complete projects in one week of frenzied coding. In the video above, we take a quick look at Hack Week 2012.

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