Thursday, 9 June 2011

Geomedia Summit panel discussion participated by Google, Yahoo, Honda, and Watanabe Laboratory of Tokyo Metropolitan University

Video streaming by Ustream

Geomedia Summit 7 was held at the University of Tokyo on Wednesday, June 8th 2011 with the participation of Google, Yahoo, Honda, Watanabe Laboratory of Tokyo Metropolitan University, and members (many of Geomedia Summit steering members) who played active roles in the post Great East Japan Earthquake. This summit consisted of three parts; lecture, panel discussion and lightning talk under the topic of "What Geomedia can do". Participants looked back their actions up until now and actively exchanged their opinions for the future. members truly feel that communication among technicians during peacetime would help crisis situations therefore they continue to create a great trend which goes beyond the organization and gain their forces!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Message from Patrick, Director of Ushahidi

Mr. Patrick Meier, Director of Ushahidi has visited Japan on May 31st 2011 to join LinuxCon Japan 2011 press conference as a keynote speaker. (Footage is the video message by Patrick for conference on May 14th 2011.)

Offline communications among members were actively taken place and the youngest member of team, @sora-h and Patrick finally met in person. (Photo: All rights reserved by fumi ← Thank you!) Thanks! Patrick!!

Postscript: Footage from LinuxCon Japan 2011 Open Forum in Yokohama on May 31st 2011 was released.

Postscript: Photo of Patrick and members! (Photo taken by nobuyori ← Thanks!)

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Patrick Meier of Ushahidi and on LinuxCon

Miura, the deputy managing director of and Patrick Meier of Ushahidi ( platform) will join the LinuxCon Japan which will be held on May 31st.
This is a great opportunity for many of members to meet Patrick for the first time.

For details, refer to the following:

LinuxCon Japan 2011, open forum

Open Forum: The Power of Collaboration in a Crisis

This forum will raise awareness of how collaborative activities can create value to society, and in particular how it helps people in crisis and disaster situations.

Open source community examples will be shown such as Ushahidi, OpenStreetMap, Hack For Japan, and Linux.

Through joining this forum, attendees will understand how these communities work and how they can participate in these communities through the development, translation, documentation and so on.

Date: May 31st (Tue)
Open at 13:00
13:00 - 18:00

Pacifico Yokohama Conference Center, 4th floor >>MAP
No admission fee

Everyone is welcome to join this forum
Please click here to register

Saturday, 28 May 2011

400 accounts increase of Japan OSM users after the earthquake!

Parent organization of is OpenStreetMap (OSM) Foundation Japan, an organization to support creating a free editable map of the world. The OSM started its activities in England in 2004 and has been expanding its activities all over the world. OSM Foundation Japan has started its community in March 2008 so it is still a young organization.

Initially it really was a small community as there were only 10 members. However, number of users started increasing gradually so OSM Japan was able to have 600 users in 2010 and now 800 users after entering into 2011. Our organization has been expanding our activities while increasing our users. The above graph shows the activity status of OSM Japan before and after the Great East Japan Earthquake. The number of user has rapidly increased in March this year when the earthquake occurred where the number of total user became more than 1,200 and the number of active user who has done the work of editing OSM within one month after the earthquake has increased to approx. 500 accounts which almost doubled the number of 200 - 300 accounts before the earthquake.

While increasing the momentum, OSM Japan continues to work on updating tasks of background map in order to properly document process of recovery/restoration on the map.

Friday, 27 May 2011

YokosoNews, an approach to foreigners settled in Japan

Since the March 11 earthquake, many information websites including have been launched.
However, much information in Japanese are provided ahead of information in English. Amount of information in English is still not enough.
YokosoNews has been providing information in English about Japan actively and was introduced on their site.
Recently, Seki, our managing director and Miura, our deputy managing director were on their radio program via Skype.
Also, we have our official English blog here.

We are still struggling with English, but are trying to provide information in cooperation with our reliable translation team.

Monday, 23 May 2011


Hi, this is mapconcierge from, crisis mapping team.
We introduced the activity of our mapping team in the symposium which was held on May 14th, that we have been creating an OpenStreetMap (OSM), a free editable map. Many people are asking us,

"There's Google Maps, but why are you involved in OSM?"

Anyone can use Google Maps for free, it surely is useful, however, we cannot use it without any restriction. As specified in Google Maps/Earth Terms of service (, we must not copy, redistribute, sublicense, or modify the Google Maps. For example, we need prior written authorization to make a copy and redistribute the Google Maps, whereas we can copy, redistribute, transmit and modify OSM freely, and its commercial use is allowed.

In addition, Google Maps and Bing Maps have the Map view and the Satellite view such as satellite images and aerial images. In both services, most of imagery data for disaster-stricken areas are updated after the earthquake. We, actually, prefer tracing such updated Satellite view to update OSM data, however, Google Maps does not allow such use. Bing Maps by Microsoft, allows us to trace their Satellite view freely to update the OSM data. That is to say, Google, which is considered as an "open platform" is actually closed in the mapping world, and Bing is open to OSM.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Introducing one of reports

The OpenSource Conference 2011 and Hack For Japan were held today and yesterday in Sendai.

Some of members were participating in these events, and verified one of the reports on our site in person.

Today, we would like to introduce this verified report.

On April 10, this report was submitted to our web site.

It was news that a Sendai's maid cafe, the only one in the Tohoku region, was to reopen.
Sendai maid cafe, "fairy tale," is schedule to open on the 18th.

A follow-up post was submitted on April 15.
Sendai maid cafe, "fairy tale," is schedule to open on the 18th.
The cafe opens at 11:00, and closes at 18:00 until further notice.
The last order time for hot sandwiches and pancakes is 17:00. The last order time for the rest on our menu is 17:30.
Customers can stay at our cafe up to two hours on the 18th, 19th, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
Some of our signature dishes, such as carbonara rice and omurice (omelette stuffed with seasoned rice) , may not be available.


A member of went to the cafe during the OpenSource Conference 2011 Sendai yesterday and verified the report.

The member reports:
  • They originally felt it might be inappropriate to reopen the cafe amidst of this disaster.
  • However, someone left a note on the shutter of the store that said, "We are looking forward to seeing you reopen." So they decided to reopen the cafe.
  • I gave them two different types of stickers, white and green, and mentioned that I became aware of the cafe through the report on

This episode made me think that it is nice to see different kinds of rebuilding going on, particularly in this situation.

Well, I think this is an important report. So I'm adding my name to this entry!

by aganard