…the symposium brings together leading scholars, researchers, critics, and practitioners for a series of discussions about the consequences of big data, data-driven design, and their latent potentials for design, planning, and activism.

As forays into big data analytics support increasingly innovative design strategies, and as new theoretical approaches and policy frameworks shape the future of urban data politics, the symposium asks how, why, and for whom: Data Made Me Do It.

Accountabilities Panel Presentation
Hacking Twitter to build evidence based flood response in Jakarta

Slides from the Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial Conference, Portland September 2014.

Mapping urban infrastructure systems is a key requirement to advance our capacity to understand and promote the resilience of cities to both extreme weather events as a result of climate change and to long-term infrastructure transformation as a process of climate adaptation. Yet, while developing nations will bear the brunt of the interwoven, climatic, economic and social challenges of the 21st century, many of these countries lack the sensor networks required to monitor and model the response of the urban system to change.

The nexus of people and place embedded in social media communication which is widespread and ubiquitous in many developing nations offers one potential solution. In this context, location-based social media often in the form of big-data, can be used to map emerging spatio-temporal trends to support situational management. Critically, however, the collection and application of such data raises significant questions around privacy, trust and security of the information gathered. The

MapJakarta.org project will be presented as a demonstration of the capabilities of free and open source geospatial technology to employ real-time social media data in a secure and anonymous manner for the purpose of decision support.

[view complete abstract]

The PetaJakarta.org project was officially launched on the 2nd of December, by the Governor of Jakarta, University of Wollongong and Twitter Inc.

PetaJakarta.org launch

PetaJakarta.org launch

Further details at info.petajakarta.org

November 2014 marks the first year of work on the PetaJakarta project. As we prepare to “go live” in December, the Year 1 Research Highlights gives a snapshot of our progress to date.

PetaJakarta Year 1 Report Cover

Project Abstract

PetaJakarta is a crowd-sourcing data-collection initiative which aims to advance our capacity to understand and promote resilience of cities to both extreme weather events as a result of climate change and to long-term infrastructure transformation as a process of climate adaptation. Developing new ways of capturing information about megacities during extreme events will be critical to understand how the urban environment, informal settlements, and infrastructure will response to the challenges of a changing climate, flooding and sea level rise. This is particularly prevalent to South-East Asian mega-cities which will bear the brunt of much of this change. PetaJakarta is our proof of concept GeoSocial Intelligence Platform, which will harness the power of social media to gather, sort and display information about flooding for Jakarta residents and governmental agencies in real time.

Half the world's population live within the Asian circle

More half the world’s population live within the Asian circle

Download report (.pdf) | Visit info.petajakarta.org for more

The Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Municipal Engineer recently published my work on using crowd-sourced data to model Fecal Sludge Management in the settlement of Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya.


Improvements in the collection and treatment of sewage are critical to reduce health and environmental hazards in rapidly urbanising informal settlements. Where sewerage infrastructure is not available, road-based faecal sludge management options are often the only alternative. However, the costs of faecal sludge transportation are often a barrier to its implementation and operation and thus it is desirable to optimise travel time from source to treatment to reduce costs.

This paper presents a novel technique, employing spatial network analysis, to optimise the spatio- topological configuration of a road-based faecal sludge transportation network on the basis of travel time. Using crowd-sourced spatial data for the Kibera settlement and the surrounding city, Nairobi, a proof-of-concept network model was created simulating the transport of waste from the 158 public toilets within Kibera. The toilets are serviced by vacuum pump trucks which move faecal sludge to a transfer station, and from there a tanker transports waste to a treatment plant. The model was used to evaluate the efficiency of different network configurations, based on transportation time. The results show that the location of the transfer station is a critical factor in network optimisation, demonstrating the utility of network analysis as part of the sanitation planning process.

Download Paper (.pdf)


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