Archives for category: Publication

Read the transcript of the interview at the blog:
Social Media as Urban Infrastructure — JJK Extended Interview with

Or, click the link in the tweet below to view the e-magazine issue:


Presentation on 2.0 at FOSS4G in Seoul, September 2015

Paper Abstract

The use of mobile devices for identifying risk and coordinating disaster response is well accepted and has been proven as a critical element in disaster risk management. As new tools, applications, and software are adopted by municipal governments and NGOs for the identification and management of urban risk, the need for greater integration of the various data they collect becomes acute. While the challenge of integrated data management is substantial, it is aided by the fact that many new tools have been developed to include an Application Programming Interface (API), which allows the machine-to-machine (i.e. automated) sharing of open data. While some proprietary platforms for the management of urban data are currently available, they are extremely costly and very limited in terms of data inputs; to date there are no open source geospatial software tools for the integrated management of various API sources to evaluate hazards for disaster response.

A key to improving disaster risk management as an element of risk identification is the development of an integrated open source Decision-Support Risk Evaluation Matrix that enables: 1) automated integration of multiple geospatial and non-geosapatial API sources into a low cost, user-oriented dashboard; 2) backend database and software design for the Risk Evaluation Matrix that enables data sources to be parameterized and interrogated; 3) the development of an output API stream that allows additional secondary applications to optimize their evaluations and analyses through open access to critical risk information. To address these challenges this paper presents an open source Risk Evaluation Matrix, currently in development, which aims to provide situational oversight of flood hazards from multiple data-sources, including social media, in the city of Jakarta, Indonesia. is featured as the sixth chapter in a new book by Springer “Social Media for Government Services”. Created by colleagues Surya Nepal and Cécile Paris at CSIRO (Data 61) and Dimitrios Georgakopoulos from RMIT; the book explores the role of social media for governments at local, state and federal scales to improve communication, participation and transparency with citizens.

Chapter 6: From Social Media to GeoSocial Intelligence: Crowdsourcing Civic Co-Management for Flood Response in Jakarta, Indonesia

by Tomas Holderness & Etienne Turpin


Here we present a review of, a system designed to harness social media use in Jakarta for the purpose of relaying information about flood locations from citizen to citizen and from citizens and the city’s emergency management agency. The project aimed to produce an open, real-time situational overview of flood conditions and provide decision support for the management agency, as well as offering the government a data source for post-event analysis.

The platform was designed as a socio-technological system and developed as a civic co-management tool to enable climate adaptation and community resilience in Jakarta, a delta megacity suffering enormous infrastructural instability due to a troubled confluence of environmental factors—the city’s rapid urbanization, its unique geographic limitations, and increasing sea-levels and monsoon rainfalls resulting from climate change. The chapter concludes with a discussion of future research in open source platform and their role in infrastructure and disaster management.

Download pre-print (.pdf) | Link to publisher

The Hansard transcript of my testimony to the Australian Government’s enquiry into Smart ICT is now available online. Presenting the project as evidence I described to the committee how open data and open source software underpinned by metadata standards can be used to integrate multiple information sources into one platform. During extreme weather events, this integrated map of intelligence can be used to improve decision making by both governments and residients in real-time.

Transcript is linked below. You can read the original submission here (pdf).

The paper “Network modelling for road-based Fecal Sludge Management“ has won the Institute of Civil Engineers’ James Hill Prize for best paper in Journal Municipal Engineer. As a result of the prize the paper will be made open access.

View the annoucement at or read the previous post about the paper.

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 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]

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

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