Sunday, 13 March 2011

Mapping for decision making

With Japan suffering their most severe crisis in the past 65 years since World War II, how can modern technology help with the aftermath of the 8.9 magnitude earthquake suffered on Friday and the subsequent monstrous tsunamis?

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan stated "I strongly believe that we can get over this great earthquake and tsunami by joining together." So by joining together all the information gathered during and after the events can we also help in a humanitarian role and help make decisions that will make a real difference?

The number of people whose whereabouts are unknown currently exceeds 10,000 and Google have created a resource that incorporates many of their integrated businesses and their 'person finder' is to be commended. The BBC have also created a map which incorporates the mulit-media collated during the last few days.
However more casualties are now feared as the nuclear reactors along the east coast of Japan are under threat and have already started to fail.

Thanks to mapping from The International Nuclear Safety Centre and the Tectonics Observatory (using USGS earthquake catalogue from 2000 to 2008, magnitude of 5.0 M and above data) you get a visual which highlights the worrying fact that there are many nuclear reactors on high magnitude earthquake zones.

Large image at

With the Austrian and German governments already calling for stress tests across nuclear power stations in Europe, how much influence will this map have on future decisions on nuclear power?

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