Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Reflecting on the past month with sinsai.info

This post has been contributed to TechWave.

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

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 sinsai.info 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 sinsai.info 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 sinsai.info 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 sinsai.info 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)

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