Japan's predominant mobile phone operator NTT DoCoMo and the Tohoku University International Research Institute of Disaster Science are collaborating on a 'Disaster Mitigation Hackathon' from February 7-8.
Hackathons bring computer programmers, engineers and designers together to combine skills and brainstorm ideas in an intensive workshop environment. The weekend long event comes one month ahead of the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, and will focus on creating mobile apps for disaster risk management.
Information technology is increasingly being used to develop strategies for mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery efforts in disaster management. Current areas of development are geospatial technology for use in hazard mapping, and global information networking -- where users can feed information into an app to facilitate real-time communication in disaster affected areas.
For a country that experiences regular seismic activity, there is a constant need to remind the local population that a large part of disaster preparedness is being aware that natural disasters can happen anytime. With this in mind, the event aims at making disaster preparation a personal issue with the running themes being disaster preparation in everyday life, and fun while learning about disaster management.
Seminars will be held to encourage hackers to create apps that utilize cognitive psychology. For developer support NTT DoCoMo will provide sound and image recognition, API, Device Connect Web API and Adhoc Communication SDK (β) for the event.
The best projects are to be showcased during the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction from March 14~18.
Tohoku University International Research Institute of Disaster Science