Digital Communities

Anerkennung - Honorary Mentions


Powered by CogniCity Open Source Software, is a free web-based platform that produces megacity-scale visualizations of disasters using both crowd-sourced reporting and government agency validations in real-time. The platform harnesses the heightened use of social media and instant messaging during emergency events to gather confirmed situational updates from street level, in a manner that removes the need for expensive and time-consuming data processing. The software listens for specific keywords in social media posts—such as flood—and engages in AI-assisted conversations with residents through humanitarian chatbots in order to filter through the noise of social media and collect verified crowdsourced disaster reports. These reports are displayed on a map in real-time, alongside relevant emergency data collected by local agencies. Government emergency management agencies monitor the platform to assess the disaster situation, respond to resident needs, and as part of a transparent two-way communication system, update the map with time-critical information in order to alert residents to the severity of disasters. By integrating localized knowledge from a variety of sources into a single, robust platform, is able to provide a comprehensive and accessible overview of disaster events; thereby enabling residents, humanitarian agencies, and government emergency management agencies to make informed decisions for safety and response. The transparency and open access of the platform democratizes decision support, creates a framework for co-management, and fosters equitable and collaborative resilience to climate change. Currently supporting a coverage area with over 50 million residents in Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, and Semarang, has proven that community-led data collection, sharing, and visualization reduces disaster risk, increases emergency response times, and assists in relief efforts.


The applied research project, co-directed by Dr. Etienne Turpin and Dr. Tomas Holderness, was launched in 2014 as a collaboration among the SMART Infrastructure Facility, University of Wollongong, the Jakarta Emergency Management Agency and Twitter Inc. As the first real-time flood map of its kind, the platform gathered verified crowdsourced reports of flooding using social media and displayed this information on a free, web-based map. Emergency operators also update the map to alert residents about the locations and severity of the flood. In 2016, the project scaled geographically and relaunched as (Disaster Map Indonesia) in collaboration with the Urban Risk Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Pacific Disaster Center of the University of Hawaii, the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, and the Indonesian National Emergency Management Agency. In January 2018, Yayasan Peta Bencana was established as a non-profit organization to facilitate the scaling of local efforts and incorporate additional hazards. The project currently also works in collaboration with Amazon Web Services, Across the Cloud, and USER Group Inc.