Thursday, 28 April 2011 introduces

The Nikkei reported on and posted an article on their website.

Nikkei: Internet role in "infrastructure" -- a blind spot?

The March 11 Japan Earthquake has proven the importance of the Internet as a part of the social infrastructure. While landline and mobile telecommunications were disrupted, the Internet remained as a vital tool to communicate rescue and support requests from the quake-stricken area. Is there a blind spot regarding the Internet as a "lifeline?" We asked Mr. Haruyuki Seki, the organizer of, which gathers and sorts quake (disaster) information, as well as Mr. Koichi Suzuki, CEO of the Internet Initiative Japan (IIJ).

Thank you very much. By the way, the article says, "There are many system engineers in disaster stricken areas. We have secured a location at Sendai Station where volunteer engineers can work". However, this "location" seems to refer to the "Info Input Station" set up by Tasukeai Japan.

Volunteer Information Station in Sendai, Miyagi: volunteer recruitment information (within Sendai City) collected at Sendai Station is made public via an API. automatically captures the data and makes it available to our viewers. did not set up the information facility in Sendai.

We would love to have data input directly from the disaster area. Please let us know if you are interested in working with us.
Contact Us

Monday, 25 April 2011

Demo of post-earthquake recovery gadget prototype

With APIs, our new gadget prototype can be embedded in your blog, iGoogle, mixi as well as OpenSocial SNS. Please watch this demo video and try it yourself.

XML URL is below.

Also available in Flash!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Presentation at the regular meeting of Japan Android Group Yokohama Chapter

"aganard",'s Legal team leader, gave a presentation at a regular meeting of Japan Android Group Yokohama Chapter. Appears from about 1:06:00.'s overseas presentation is updated gave a presentation to an international audience at a TechWave social event after the Where2.0 conference.
The presentation slides are uploaded.
The slides are made public under a CC-BY SA license.

Thursday, 21 April 2011 was presented at Where2.0.

Patrick Meier of Ushahidi introduced to the audience at the beginning of his presentation to the Where2.0 conference in Santa Clara, California.

He explained Ushahidi is not only utilized to respond to natural disasters, but also to the Libyan civil war and the revolution in Egypt. on Ushahidi official blog

Crisis Mapping Japan appeared on Ushahidi's official blog. Reported are our current access stats and characteristics of usage in Japan, etc.
Mr. Patrick Meier and other Ushahidi members contacted us via Skype several days after the launch of They provided translated documents, information on useful plug-ins as well as technical advice.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Interested in creating an application using data? offers open data.
Anyone can utilize APIs to implement an application for post-disaster recovery.

Reports at can be gathered in json format by accessing

A tutorial is available (only in Japanese).

Let's utilize APIs to create post-disaster recovery applications!
The samples in this tutorial show you how to use OpenSocial applications (iGoogle gadgets, mixi apps, goo apps).
You need only a browser to develop.
Please create an application!

Sample gadget

Tuesday, 19 April 2011 on BBC

BBC TV reported on is supported not only by Japanese but by people all around the world.

How technology helps with aftermath of disasters

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Watanabe Laboratory of Tokyo Metropolitan University launches "Traffic results information mashup" has started collaboration with "Traffic records mashup" operated by Hidenori Watanabe Laboratory of Tokyo Metropolitan University.
Ushahidi is capable of KML output; however, Google Maps APIs cannot handle the enormous data flow of reports sent to the site.
We are grateful to Yahoo! Japan who helped us load balance!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Reflecting on the past month with

This post has been contributed to TechWave.

Hi, my name is Hal Seki. I am the managing director of

I am CEO of Georepublic Japan, and also a member of OpenStreetMap Foundation Japan.

One month has passed since the earthquake struck off Japan. We have spent most of the time on improving the site since we took over its management on the very day of the earthquake. Let us review our activities.

This Great East Japan earthquake has extensively affected including crippling on-site infrastructure, cell phones, and electricity. Under such circumstances, I have become painfully aware of powerlessness of IT over the past one month. I have also constantly frustrated that I cannot provide direct support toward disaster-affected areas even using support.
In fact I may be the one who is rescued the most through this activity. Even I get to the disaster affected areas, I know I would become a burden. However, there is still something that I can do which made me forget a looming sense of anxiety and frustration on a daily basis.
I am still not sure how much of helps how many people. However, when I talk to NPOs and people who have been to disaster-affected areas, it appears certain that information gap becomes serious issue. Therefore I believe that platform like may be of help at a time like this when electricity and communication infrastructure are recovering. With that in mind, I would like to continue our activities.

Read more at TechWave (only in Japanese)

Lecture video from TEDx Earthquake 9.0

Watch live streaming video from tedx at

Video of TEDx Earthquake 9.0 (Sun 4/20/2011 at Kyushu University) is now available.
Mr. Miura, Vice Managing Director as well as many of our activities were introduced at appx. 2:07:00 in the video.
Click to view presentation slides.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Presentation documents at TechLION and EARTHLING2011

It's been a month since the Great East Japan Earthquake on 3/11 and was established. We have been asked to participate in many events, and our main members are taking turns presenting on a daily basis. All of our public documents used in these presentations will be posted on this blog in order to consolidate information.

3/31 (Fri) TehcLION (at Shinjuku Naked Loft)

4/1 (Sat) EARTHLING2011 (at Keio Univ., Hiyoshi Campus)

Video streaming by Ustream

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Hello World

We will be posting more about in English

about the organization

My name is Hal Seki and I am Managing Director of

It has been almost one month since the earthquake hit Japan. I finally settled down and have some time to write a blog.

Recently I have heard comments that people sometimes do not know what kinds of organizations deal with or how we make decisions.

So first of all, I would like to explain some things about our organization.

About site organizers:
As stated on the main organization page, is built upon a crowdsourcing tool, Ushahidi, and operated under the OpenStreetMap Foundation Japan by its volunteers and others.

Organization: is divided into the following teams.

  • Managing Director: OpenStreetMap Foundation Japan, Hal Seki
  • Deputy Managing Director of, President of OpenStreetMap Foundation Japan, Hiroshi Miura
  • Data team: Moderators of the site. Verifies submitted reports and condenses Twitter information as reports.
  • Operations team: System operators. Monitors daily loads and operational conditions. HEARTBEATS Corporation offers system monitoring.
  • Infrastructure team: Creators of infrastracture. Builds servers and other infrastructure. Amazon Web Services provided EC2 for infrastructure.
  • Translation team: A team of translators. Translates static content and important reports into English. We will provide translations in other languages in the future.
  • Development team: System Developers. Responds to requests and technical issue reports on the website. Contributors are various engineers from Gree Inc., NTT and others.
  • UI team: Designers of UI (user interface). Renews web designs and creates logos. Supported by Copilot Inc., and many others.
  • Legal team: Offers legal support.
  • Liaison team: Communicates with NPO organizations and supporting corporations.
  • Press team: Provides press releases.

Decision making:

Our organization is basically composed of experienced developers who are savvy to open source culture. We use grassroots/open decision making approach rather than top-down approach. Discussions are held asynchronously using SNS called Yammer, and online meetings are held twice per day (afternoon and evening) via Lingr, an online chat tool, in order to ensure full awareness and decision making of important matters.

Leaders of each group mostly gather comments, however, any member can provide an agenda for discussion. There are many cases where good proposals are adopted.

Authorized development leaders will release these proposals to our production environment.

Volunteer staff wanted:

If you are interested in volunteering for the above positions, please apply via volunteer staff page on our site.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Changing the World, One Map at a Time is established based on Ushahidi, an open source crisis crowdsource platform and modified for Japan. Latest presentation materials of Mr. Patrick Meier, Developer of Ushahidi. He introduced our activities during his presentation. appears on TEDxEarthquake9.0.

Hiroshi Miura, Deputy Managing Director of will appear on TEDxEarthquake9.0 to be held at Kyushu University on Sunday, April 10th. is scheduled to be introduced on NHK "Sakidori" on April 10th.

(C) 2011 NHK will be featured on NHK new program "Sakidori" on Sunday, April 10th from 8:25 to 8:57.

Post-earthquake OpenStreetMap mapping editor animation

This is a mapping editor animation of the OpenStreetMaps from the day of earthquake until April 7th for Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, Sendai, Tokyo, etc. created by the support of mappers from all over the world.