Peta Bencana Paints Street Art for Monsoon Preparedness in Indonesia

On December 10th, 2017, the Peta Bencana Foundation transformed a portion of the heavily traversed Sudirman-Thamrin road with an anamorphic street art installation, exclusively designed towards building resilience for the forthcoming monsoon season! Every Sunday morning in Jakarta, main roads in the center of the city are closed off to vehicles for the weekly Car Free Day event, making way for thousands of walkers, joggers, bikers, and skaters. Peta Bencana took this opportunity to launch a preparedness event for the 2017/2018 monsoon season; as passers-by stopped to take selfies with the street art installation, they were reminded to continue to share their selfies with during the monsoon season, and contribute to real-time community flood-mapping. gathers confirmed crowd-sourced reports about flooding from various social media channels and visualizes these on a free web-based map, so that everyone has the information they need to stay safe and avoid danger during flood events. This information is shared with emergency management agencies, who are also able to update the map with time-critical flood-related information, creating a transparent two-way communication channel for everyone in the city. The Jakarta Emergency Management Agency (BPBD DKI Jakarta) also took this opportunity to spread awareness about their disaster management programs to the Car Free Day visitors. Read More

Peta Bencana at Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) Surabaya

Continuing a series of lecture events held in collaboration with universities across Indonesia, on November 28th, 2017, Peta Bencana visited the Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) Surabaya. At the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, part of the Faculty of Design, Architecture, and Planning, 75 students (24 male and 41 female) attended PetaBencana’s lecture on the use of open source software for climate adaptation. We were warmly welcomed by Bapak Adjie Pamungkas, ST.,M.Dev.Plg.,Ph.D, Head of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, and Bapak Mochamad Yusuf, ST, M.Sc., professor of Urban and Regional Planning.

A screening of “The Same River Twice”, a documentary produced by PetaBencana that narrates the situation of Jakarta as a megacity struggling to adapt to climate change during the tropical monsoon season, prompted engaging conversations about information infrastructures for disaster events. Following an explanation of the development and use of within this context, students displayed optimism towards the platform and were excited to try the methods by which they could participate in crowdsourced disaster mapping through various social media channels and instant messaging applications. We were excited to see an enthusiastic uptake of the platform, as we continued to exchange ideas with students about the various ways by which, and the use of open source data, could be scaled and further optimized. Read More

Peta Bencana at Paramadina University, Jakarta

As part of a series of lecture events held in collaboration with universities across Indonesia, Peta Bencana Foundation was excited to engage with the community at Paramadina University on November 22nd, 2017. The event was held in collaboration with the university’s Department of Student Development, and the student organizations, Khatulistiwa, and Paramadina Social Care (PSC).

The lecture, titled “Harnessing Social Media and Open Source Software as Infrastructure for Climate Change Adaptation” was opened by Leonita Kusumawardhani, professor of Communication Studies at Paramadina University, and attended by 36 students (10 male and 26 female).

The enthusiastic response displayed by the students led to productive conversations about the ways by which public platforms can support individual and collective decision making during disaster events. The students were especially enthusiastic to discuss methods of verification of crowd-sourced data, and how resident-conveyed information could be effectively employed by disaster managers for evidence-based response. Peta Bencana was happy to have such an engaged audience, and some great conversations at Paramadina University! Read More

Peta Bencana Film on Peat Forests and Palm Oil playing at “Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest” Exhibition

Indonesia is the world’s largest producer and exporter of palm oil. But, to meet rising global demand, Indonesia is creating vast palm oil plantations by clearing peatlands for production. Produced by, for the “Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald [Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest]” exhibition at the Zoologisches Museum, Centrum für Naturkunde, Universität Hamburg, this video explains the local impacts of peatland destruction as well as the importance of peatland ecologies for the Earth System and its climate.

Peta Bencana Foundation at the University of Tarumanagara

In preparedness for the 2017-2018 monsoon season, the Peta Bencana Foundation is launching a series of lecture events  in collaboration with universities across Indonesia. On the 8th of November 2017, we kicked off this program at the Department of Urban Planning and Real Estate, Engineering Faculty, University of Tarumanagara, Jakarta.

The talk organized by Peta Bencana,  “Using Social Media and Open Source Software as Infrastructure for Climate Change Adaptation”, was attended by 56 participants (27 male, 29 female). The head of the urban division from the Department of Urban Planning and Real Estate, Dr. Ir. Parino Rahardjo, M.M, warmly welcomed the foundation and opened the event.

In discussing the ways by which the public platform,, supports individual and collective decision making during disaster events, students expressed their enthusiasm, pulling out their phones and taking selfies to practice participating in community disaster mapping. Participants practiced submitting reports through social media (Twitter) and instant messaging (Telegram), and were immediately able to view their contributions on the map. Read More

MIT adapts CogniCity OSS to support risk planning for Hurricane Irma

quote open    This type of information will assist us with assessing damage in real time during the storm event and help prioritize response efforts after the storm.        quote close

The MIT Urban Risk Lab is successfully employing the software developed for to support risk planning for Hurricane Irma. Through gathering crowdsourced confirmed situational reports via social media, the platform,, tracks flooding during Hurricane Irma in real time.

The publicly available map, currently being piloted in Broward County, Florida, allows residents , government officials, and first responders to stay informed about changing flood conditions across the county, in order to prepare for and respond to emergency events. At a news conference on Friday, Broward County Mayor Barabara Sharief said that the map will help assess the damage in real-time and help prioritize response efforts.

We’re excited to see CogniCity Open Source Software continue to support geographies outside Indonesia, and in the spirit of open-source, the ways by which partnering teams have been able to build and expand upon existing bodies of work! Read More

CogniCity OSS Adapted to power a Flood Mapping Platform in Vietnam

Members from the team at SmartSaigon, an open source flood mapping platform in Vietnam, came to visit to exchange ideas on the use and implementation of crowdsourced data for disaster risk management. The team has adapted the same software powering, CogniCity Open Source Software, to develop and support a flood mapping platform for Saigon. It was great to see how CogniCity has been able to serve as a framework supporting geographies outside Indonesia, and how the team at SmartSaigon have used the software to build and expand upon existing bodies of work. 

The SmartSaigon team also met with the Jakarta Disaster Management Agency, Jakarta Smart City, and Pulse Lab Jakarta, to learn about’s collaborations with various stakeholders in Jakarta. While SmartSaigon and PetaBencana serve very distinct contexts, we were able to share lessons learnt from both similar, and dissimilar, experiences. PetaBencana was very excited to learn about the ways that SmartSaigon has developed strategies to support the unique urban practices in Saigon, including the incorporation and integration of chatbots on different social media platforms pertinent to the city. It was great to also learn about the ways in which CogniCity has been modified to attune to the unique perceptions of risk in Saigon. Read More

2017 Asia GeoSpatial Excellence Award

quote open .     Our Jury believes that National Disaster Management Authority’s project demonstrates the power of geospatial information and technology in impacting the lives of people at grassroots level and strengthening disaster preparedness, thereby highlighting its role as a tool in socio-economic development.          quote close

The National Disaster Management Agency of Indonesia (BNPB) received the 2017 Asia GeoSpatial Excellence Award for their implementation of The award recognizes the application of geospatial technologies to strengthen resident engagement.

Jakarta Governor Endorses


quote open .     Jakarta citizens, be cautious of flooded areas…Check the locations of flooded areas on…Here are some screenshots of yesterday’s flood, in the morning, afternoon, and evening.          quote close

The governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, posted annotated screen captures of to his Instagram account during the 2017 monsoon season, calling for residents to check the map in order to stay informed. In a story about the Governor’s social media usage, MetroTV News described how emergency management agencies were able to respond to the flooding situation immediately because of the platform.

Read the full article here

OECD features as a Case Study


quote open .   …since 2015, BNPB has used the platform as part of its daily emergency management operations, representing a breakthrough in information exchange with citizens.        quote close is featured as a case study in OECD’s report on innovative governance practices. The report commends the unintrusive integration of the platform into the National Disaster Management Agency’s existing disaster risk management information ecosystem, representing a major advance on the agency’s previous information dissemination systems.

Read the full report here

ODI Showcase Award


quote open .     The map – and the software and data behind it – are shared openly, so can be integrated into systems from government agencies and NGOs tasked with responding to the flooding. This offers a practical solution for developing platforms of civic co-management in cities facing extreme weather events.          quote close

The pilot project,, was the recipient of the 2016 ODI Showcase Award. The award supports projects that demonstrate how open data can be used to benefit individuals, organisations, and society.

Read the full article here

FCC Recommends the Project as a Model for Disaster Information Crowdsourcing


quote open .     To what extent would it be possible to leverage this model as a best practice for automated crowdsourcing of reliable emergency response data, using regulated alerting platforms in the United States?          quote close

In 2016, the Federal Communication Commission of the United States recommended the pilot project,, as the best model for a new disaster information crowdsourcing platform.

Read the full document here

The Guardian Media Feature


quote open .     Perhaps the most significant success of the system was its use by the Jakarta emergency management agency (BPBD DKI Jakarta). In 2015 the agency used as an early warning system, allowing it to identify and cross-verify locations of flooding, speed up its response, and communicate with residents in flood-affected areas in real-time.      quote close

In a Guardian op-ed for the Public Leaders Network, the project co-directors highlighted the success of in enabling the Jakarta Emergency Management Agency to increase response times and share critical information with residents during flood events.  

Read the full article here

IFRC recommends the project as model for disaster response


quote open .     …a tool that responds to the way disasters actually unfold and the way people really react, rather than predicted or idealized projections of behaviour.          quote close

The 2015 World Disasters Report recognizes the role that local actors play in emergency situations. The pilot project,, was recommended as a model for empowering local actors and changing the nature of community-level disaster response.

Read the full report here

Parliament of Australia Commends Project as Example of Best Practice


quote open .     … when we talk about not just Australia but disaster management, knowing when and where the flood is going to reach and aligning that with the information that you could provide through Twitter and layer the two together, then the capability of managing disasters of a great variation would be very useful. That is why the issue around this type of technology, working across a number of fields, could be really useful.          quote close

In a deposition to the Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications of the Government of Australia, project co-director Dr. Tomas Holderness recommended as model for transforming social media into actionable information for residents and decision makers. The project was commended for its ability to work and integrate data openly across multiple fields.

Read the full deposition here

National Geographic Media Feature


quote open . enables the residents of Jakarta to easily understand the locations of flooded areas…        quote close

In an article titled “Now Jakarta Residents Can Know the Locations of Flooded Areas,” National Geographic Indonesia described how the platform has increased situational knowledge among residents and has become a tool for critical information sharing and dissemination in Jakarta.

Read the full article here

Twitter #DataGrant


quote open .  By leveraging Twitter’s real time information network, uses social data to help improve the lives of millions of people.     quote close

In 2013, was selected as one of six recipients of the first Twitter Data Grant. The competitive program was launched by Twitter to connect researchers with Twitter data for real-world applications. The Twitter Data Grant map visualizes flood-related Tweets across Jakarta between November 2013 and February 2014.

Read the full story here