PetaBencana.id provides residents, government agencies, and first responders with a real-time disaster information sharing system at an unprecedented scale. It is the first platform of its kind to harness the power of crowdsourcing through social media to aid humanitarian response and recovery.
Heavy rainfall from February 27 to February 28th inundated almost the entire city of Medan, with some areas experiencing flood waters up to 2 meters high.
According to first-hand reports submitted to PetaBencana.id, the extreme weather has blocked major thoroughfares as embankments burst under the increasing intensity of rainfall. Residents have been sharing real-time updates through the PetaBencana.id platform to help keep each other informed, and support response efforts.
According to the Indonesian Meteorological, Climatological, and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) extreme rainfall is expected to continue in the coming weeks across several areas in Indonesia, including Sumatra and Java.
We remind residents to check https://petabencana.id for up-to-date information. Residents can also submit real-time flood reports by tweeting #banjir @petabencana, sending a Facebook message to @petabencana.id, or sending a Telegram message to @bencanabot. When we share what we see, everyone can stay informed, avoid danger, and reduce risk together!
Yayasan Peta Bencana, supported by USAID BHA and endorsed by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), conducted a nationwide disaster preparedness event with barangay community leaders from all over the Philippines!
Attended by more than a thousand barangay community leaders, participants simulated real-time disaster information sharing via the MapaKalamidad.ph platform. MapaKalamidad.ph is a free and open-source platform that provides real-time disaster information and transparent communication between residents and government agencies, to reduce risk and increase emergency response times during the sudden onset of disasters. The online platform harnesses the use of social media to crowdsource disaster information from residents on the ground, who often have the most up-to-date information, and displays this information on a live web-based map.
An average of 20 typhoons per year enter the Philippine area of responsibility. In 2021, the country was struck by a total of 22 storms, 9 typhoons, and 5 super typhoons. The most recent one, Typhoon Odette, strengthened from category 1 to 5 in just one day making it difficult, if not impossible, for people to prepare. As the rapid intensification of storms becomes more common due to climate change, real-time information is increasingly becoming the most important resource to understand and respond to rapidly changing situations.
In the Philippines, millions of residents already actively share real-time updates through their social media networks. However, there is currently no central platform wherein these real-time posts or reports are being gathered, sorted, and geospatially related, for easy access and public viewing. This is the gap that MapaKalamidad.ph fills–the platform deploys AI-assisted “humanitarian chatbots” to automatically respond to disaster-related social media posts, and asks users to confirm their situation by submitting a disaster report. Verified reports are displayed on a data light, mobile-centric, web-based map that is available to all residents, disaster managers, and emergency responders to allow them to view and share real-time flood information and make timely decisions to reduce risk.
As a community-led disaster information sharing platform, MapaKalamidad.ph is developed through collaboration and sustained engagement with the widest variety of stakeholders. On Thursday, February 24th, MapaKalamidad.ph’s disaster preparedness event invited barangay leaders to participate in a live demonstration that exemplified how crowdsourced information collected via MapaKalamidad.ph could be leveraged to support response in their areas of responsibility. Barangay leaders participated in a “train the trainer” activity, aimed to equip participants to autonomously train their own organizations, community groups, or neighborhoods effectively and repeatedly as preparedness actions over time.
Disaster reports submitted to MapaKalamidad.ph are also pivotal to help emergency managers better understand and respond to on-the-ground situations. Data collected by MapaKalamidad.ph is automatically integrated into OCD’s PhilAWARE Disaster Monitoring platform. According to Joseph Curry, from USAID BHA, “In the true spirit of bayanihan, MapaKalamidad.ph gives us a tool that everyone can use together in disaster response, potentially connecting every barangay right to the top.”
Disaster Map Foundation (Yayasan Peta Bencana), supported by USAID BHA and endorsed by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), officially launched MapaKalamidad.ph, a free and open-source real-time flood mapping platform for the Philippines.
In 2021, the Philippines was struck by a total of 22 storms, nine typhoons, and five super typhoons. The most recent, Typhoon Odette, strengthened from a Category 1 to 5 typhoon in just one day making it difficult for people to prepare for the arrival of the storm or to evacuate. As the rapid intensification of storms becomes more common due to climate change, real-time information is increasingly becoming the most important resource to understand and respond to rapidly changing situations.
MapaKalamidad.ph is a free and open-source platform that provides real-time disaster information and transparent communication between residents and government agencies, in order to reduce risk and increase emergency response times during the sudden onset of disasters. The online platform harnesses the use of social media to crowdsource disaster information from residents on the ground, who often have the most up-to-date information, and displays this information on a live web-based map.
The Philippines has some of the highest social media usage rates in the world, and during disasters, social media feeds are inundated with real-time updates by residents calling for help and posting information. However, there is currently no central platform where these posts or reports can be viewed and accessed collectively or spatially. This is the gap that MapaKalamidad.ph fills—by filtering through disaster-related social media posts in real-time, the platform deploys AI-assisted “humanitarian chatbots” to ask social media users to confirm their situation. Verified reports are displayed on a data light, mobile-centric, web-based map that is available to all residents, disaster managers, and emergency responders in order to allow them to view and share real-time flood information and make timely decisions to reduce risk.
The official launch was opened by Madame Vice President Leni Robredo. In her opening remarks, she stated: “In imagining next-gen bayanihan, MapaKalamidad.ph harnesses not just the power of new tools and technologies, it is built on what is best in the Filipino. I urge everyone, especially youth, not just to share and use share [MapaKalamidad.ph] but to help lead your communities in reducing risk, building resilience, and fostering solidarity to face the ever-growing challenges of our changing climate.”
Madame Vice President Leni Robredo continued to highlight the urgent necessity to invest proactively in disaster preparedness, stating: “We have long been advocating for stronger disaster preparedness, with risk management plans anchored in our climate change realities, budgeting that prioritizes climate-resilient adaptation programs, and empowering systems that consult and engage affected communities at every step of the process. MapaKalamidad is a significant contribution in this endeavor.”
A pilot version of MapaKalamidad.ph was launched in 2020 for Quezon City and Pampanga, in collaboration with the Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) as part of the PhilAWARE project. Powered by CogniCity Open Source Software, the platform provides the fastest tool to collect, sort, and visualize real-time disaster updates in order to support response. During Typhoon Ulysess in November 2020, the platform experienced a significant increase in activity as residents in the pilot areas actively shared real-time situational updates about the flood. MapaKalamidad.ph was used to support residents and disaster management units to identify the areas that needed immediate response and rescue efforts. Following the uptake of the platform in the pilot areas, Yayasan Peta Bencana, together with USAID BHA and OCD officially launched the national version of the platform on January 14, 2022.
Nashin Mahtani, Director of Yayasan Peta Bencana, said: “In building the next generation of bayanihan, it is critical to empower all residents with the tools, agency, and support that will enable communities to self-organize, more equally participate in decision making during emergencies, and adapt to increasingly extreme weather events. By sharing real-time reports about disasters through MapaKalamidad.ph, we can help each other, neighbors, emergency agencies, and first responders better respond to emergency situations.”
According to Joseph Curry, from USAID BHA, “While we depend on the government to be the authoritative source on damages and needs, we also recognize that those affected have the most up to date information and have an essential role to play. MapaKalamidad.ph adds a new dimension to data and information collection by empowering citizens to directly report hazards, critical lifelines, and damages in their neighborhoods via social media. In the true spirit of bayanihan, MapaKalamidad.ph gives us a tool that everyone can use together in disaster response, potentially connecting every barangay right to the top.”
Any resident in the Philippines can submit flood reports anonymously by tweeting #flood or #baha @mapakalamidad, sending a Facebook message to @mapakalamidad, or sending a telegram message to @kalamidadbot, and check https://mapakalamidad.ph for real-time flood updates to navigate safely.
Powered by CogniCity Open Source Software, PetaBencana.id is a free, web-based platform that produces real-time disaster maps using both crowd-sourced reporting and government agency validations. 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. These verified user reports are displayed alongside relevant emergency data collected by local and government agencies. By integrating localized knowledge from a variety of sources into a single, robust platform, PetaBencana.id is able to provide a comprehensive overview of disaster events, enabling residents, humanitarian agencies, and government agencies to make more informed decisions during emergencies.
Since its debut in 2013 (as PetaJakarta.org), the PetaBencana.id platform has been used by millions of resident users to make time-critical decisions about safety and navigation during emergency disaster events; it has also been adopted by the National Emergency Management Agency (BNPB) to monitor flood events, improve response times, and share time-critical emergency information with residents. The platform has enabled greater information sharing and data coordination among residents and government agencies, fostering equitable and collaborative resilience to climate change.
PetaBencana.id has proven that community-led data collection, sharing, and visualization reduces flood risk and assists in relief efforts. In the 2015 World Disaster Report of the International Federation of the Red Cross, the project was recommended as a model for community engagement in relation to disaster response. In 2016, the Federal Communication Commission of the United States also recommended the project as a best practice regarding disaster information crowdsourcing.
Mahtani N. and E. Turpin. “Neuroecologies of Attention & Intelligence in the Megacity: Learning with PetaBencana.id,” in Perspecta 51: Becoming Media The Yale Architectural Journal, November 2018.
Mahtani, Nashin. “Impressions of Disaster: Neuroscience, Design, and Attention
in Post-Internet Indonesia,” in e-flux Architecture, August, 2017.
Turpin, E., and T. Holderness. “From Social Media to GeoSocial Intelligence: Experiments with Crowdsourcing Civic Co-Management for Flood Response in Jakarta, Indonesia,” in Social Media for Government Services, eds. Surya Nepal, Cécile Paris, Dimitrios Georgakopoulos (Springer, 2016).
Holderness, T., and E. Turpin, “How tweeting about floods became a civic duty in Jakarta,” in The Guardian, Public Leaders Network, 25 January 2016.
Holderness T. and E. Turpin. “Floods in Jakarta? Tweeting Now,” in Strategic Review 5.1(October-December 2015): 26-35.
Holderness T., and E. Turpin. PetaJakarta.org: Assessing the Role of Social Media for Civic
Co-Management During Monsoon Flooding in Jakarta, Indonesia, SMART Infrastructure Facility, University of Wollongong, GeoSocial Intelligence Working Group White Paper 01 (June 2015).
Turpin, E., T. Holderness, and G. Quaggiotto. “Combining ‘Big’ and ‘Small’ Data to Build Urban Resilience in Jakarta,” United Nations Global Pulse Blog, April 2014.
Turpin, E., A. Bobbette, and M. Miller, eds. Jakarta: Architecture + Adaptation (Depok: Universitas Indonesia Press, 2013).
The PetaBencana.id community is made up of a diverse group of volunteers, local community leaders, and professionals dedicated to building capacities for community-based disaster co-management. There are a number of ways to get involved!
Support open data & open software for climate adaptation:
Help us keep the map running as a free platform, so that everyone in Indonesia can have access to time critical information!
To donate via wire transfer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Become a Sustaining Partner:
Partner with Yayasan Peta Bencana to increase employee engagement and Corporate Social Responsibility Programs! We also work with organisations to provide customized alerts to ensure the safety of your belongings and staff.
Become a Risk Ambassador:
Are you passionate about spreading disaster awareness and increasing preparedness in your communities? Sign up to become a risk ambassador – no experience needed, we will provide you the support you need!
Technology and Training:
Yayasan Peta Bencana provides training to organizations, embassies, schools, and volunteer communities. Through digital literacy workshops we provide the necessary skills to safely and easily access and share time-critical information – leveraging capacities for everyone to participate in critical decision-making and boost community resilience. We can customize training to meet the needs of your organization.
Sign up for a training by sending us an email at email@example.com!
Bring the crowd-sourced disaster mapping platform to your location:
The platform is now being further developed to address additional hazards and other geographies in South East Asia. If you would like to see a crowd-sourced disaster mapping platform implemented in your area, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact us for current volunteer activities, or if you would like to get involved in other ways! We would love to hear from you!