Sunday, 10 April 2011

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.

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