2010 | Achievement and Award
Development of an Online Message Board that Remains Available even in the Event of a Natural Disaster
Graduate School of Economics and Management and Faculty of Economics, Tohoku University have developed a message board called Campus Community which includes a questionnaire function, in collaboration with local venture businesses, to support students’ studies and to improve information distribution among students and faculty members. The newly developed system aims to promptly provide access to information within each faculty or department using the Web, and has initiated its operation since the year 2007. It is also available during disasters to confirm the safety of the students and faculty members. A demonstration experiment to prepare against disaster was successfully conducted in August, 2010.
Large-scale earthquakes are expected to occur in the near future. During disasters, it is extremely important to confirm the safety of the students and school personnel and to provide official information from each organization. In order to effectively operate the system during disasters, such as earthquakes, it is necessary to have access to the system as smoothly as in the normal situation, in addition to access by users daily. In the case of building collapse due to earthquakes or significant equipment damage, the newly developed system automatically switches to the off-campus server to allow access as in the usual situation, to provide important information and to conduct questionnaires to confirm the safety.
As the privacy factor is also important during disasters, the Campus Community developed by Tohoku University has high security function. The system is already in use at the Graduate School of Economics and Management and Faculty of Economics, Tohoku University and operates the following functions during normal times.
1. The secure message board without depending on e-mails.
2. Questionnaires for individuals or user groups to be prepared, responses collected and analyzed.
3. Share files for each group.
The system uses mirroring and DNS setting to automatically switch the message board/questionnaire system to the geographically-separated server in different sites during disasters. After recovery to the normal situation, data difference will be corrected.
The newly developed system demonstrated its effective operation through experiments of automatic switching in August, 2010. The achievement was presented at Tohoku Open Internet Community (TOPIC) on September 28, 2010.
More Information (Japanese)
Senior Assistant Professor Masahiro Ishigaki
Research Assistant Shizuko Katayama
Graduate School of Economics and Management, Tohoku University