Here is a brilliant use of internet technology (to say nothing of satellite technology) to advance a cause … hopefully saving lives.

Amnesty International has created a website, Eyes on Darfur, which uses satellite photography to monitor and compile evidence of the violence in Darfur.

Along with continually updated satellite imagery of villages throughout the region, the site offers slide shows, video reports, eyewitness accounts and full written reports on the violence that has occurred in each village.

The effort gives new meaning to a “global watch.” Amnesty hopes this electronic spotlight will help deter violence in the region.

Now, other than the fact that they're unimaginative and often meaningless in any programmatic sense, we don't have anything against your boilerplate “Sign this online petition” campaign that 99% of nonprofits now use to generate donors and activists. They'll work awhile longer, until netizens get absolutely bored.

But how dull and uninspired (and often trivial) compared to this example of the full potential of the online medium for cause advocacy!

For both personal and professional inspiration, you need to check out Eyes on Darfur. And here's an AP report on the project.

Great job Amnesty!

Roger & Tom

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