I am thinking & working slowly on the concept of facilitating the registration of property via open source tools.
The idea is property law wiki.
It is estimated by Hernando de Soto that there is $9.3 Trillion worth of dead capital in the world. World bank video here These are resources such as real estate that can't be fully used or valued because they are un registered. The reasons for this are myriad as will be the solutions.
The idea is that by freeing capital via registration it can be used more efficiently. For example if you are a 3rd generation squatter in an urban city in a developing country, you can't officially sell your house. Any value you capture will be at a severe discount. You can't borrow against your home or officially hand it to your family members. If you want to learn more about the opportunity of unleashing resources that already exist in a country check this video out or look around on the site at this link.
Google maps is a tool that allows for people to collectively identify and place resources and assets into the public domain.
Haiti for example is in crisis and the available resources are fluid. A dynamic updatable map represents a significant strategic and tactical tool to deploy resources. If you want to learn more about Google maps or have experience on the ground in Haiti and can update the map do so.
From a digital geek perspective, it seems like having various organizations have updatable layers and resource tracking that they could expose to the proper authorities or co-ordinating agencies would be very helpful. Kind of a 3d wikipedia map. Then make it a mashup supporting flickr links etc. so that quick snapshots and notations could be made on the ground.
This all sounds overly high tech, but the tools to do it will get cheaper and easier and are already emerging. Super ordinate tasks such as disaster relief logistics are perfect for this type of thing. Architecture for Humanity is doing some things.
The World Bank of whom I am fairly critical has done some really good work with the Doing Business Reports. It does all the right things in terms of measuring, soft competitive pressure via ranking and public availability of information. I hope they or someone else does the same type of work for property registration and recognition. It is a huge opportunity.
To sum up good maps and live updated detailed maps in place before disaster can save precious hours and days when a disaster happens.
Full Disclosure: I lived in Haiti for 6 months as a small child.