Cool Toys Pic of the day – RDTN.org

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Cool Toys Pic of the day – RDTN.org
social media measurement tools
RDTN.org (Radiation dot org):
www.rdtn.org/

I love things like this. Radiation (abbreviated as RDTN) is a great
crowdsourcing mashup. Now there is a concept that will make your head
hurt unless you are into this new social media geek stuff. It takes a
few tools and a bunch of data and turns them into something incredibly
useful and relevant.

While you take a look at all this, stop and think about it beyond the
immediate context. This is a reactive project, meaning in came into
being to fill a specific need that already existed. There are useful
debates about whether this (radiation levels) is the most important
problem to be addressing right now, but whether it is or not, the
approach here is valuable.

Remember back in the 50s and 60s when common folk had nuclear shelters
dug in their back yard? Everyone was aware of potential crises that
could come, and as a community prepared for it at both micro and macro
levels. People laugh now about some of the forms those preparations
took, but I am interested in the fact that they did! People took
personal responsibility for preparation and survival. What if there
was more of that happening now?

Now remember when the Ohio
Blackout
happened a few years ago. In my neighborhood, for
several days, I’d go out to walk the dog before bed, and it would be
pitch black as far as the eye could see. Except for my house. And my
house had lights on both floors. Generators, most people think, but
nope, I had kerosene lanterns, matches, boardgames, and my family kept
our usual schedule, going to bed at the usual time.

One of the guys who worked for me at the time was from Peru. He told
me his friends and relatives there were laughing themselves silly at
these Americans who actually ASSUMED that all these basic things would
always be dependably provided by the local government, and had not
made any preparations for taking care of themselves in case something
happened. In Peru, the assumption was that you made personal
preparations for in case. The idea of a populace being incapacitated
by a technical error that cut power or water was literally laughable.

So what has America learned from this? How many people believe that
the Ohio Blackout will never happen again? I actually spoke to someone
on the bus last week who didn’t believe it had ever happened! She
lived near a hospital and her area had multiple backup generators, so
she only lost power for a couple hours. Since she didn’t lose power
for very long, no one did, right?

I would love to see us, all of us, as a CULTURE, not just waiting for
the next disaster to come up with cool things like RDTN and
GeigerCrowd, but to do so proactively. Figure out the most likely
disasters in each area. Plan for what information will be most needed.
Keep duplicates of pre-existing information in many formats in many
places, just in case. For information that will need to be created or
gathered and disseminated at the time, plan those information flows
and conduits in advance, prepare them, and practice them. Make sure
people know where to go for what information. By "people", I mean
EVERYONE, just like in the 50s, if you didn’t have a shelter, you knew
where the nearest one was.

So, now, what is RDTN.org doing, how are they doing it, and now go
think about this as a proactive strategy.

TOOLS

Pachtube:
www.pachube.com/

GeigerCrowd (at GitHub):
www.GeigerCrowd.net/

DATA

Marian Steinbach: Japan Radiation Open Data:
www.sendung.de/japan-radiation-open-data/

Japan, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Sciences & Technology:
www.mext.go.jp/english/

WHAT THEY’RE DOING

RDTN.org and GeigerCrowd have very similar visions and cross-reference
each other.

About RDTN:
"While we hope to gather data via our own website, we recognize the
efforts of others out there who are actively seeking and parsing data
and making it available for others to use.
We are aware that reliable data is critical, and have carefully chosen
partners in supplying information. Our map is populated with data from
Pachube and Marian Steinbach. . As more reliable data sources become
available, we will consider adding further sources to the site."

About GeigerCrowd:
"geigercrowd is an approach to fill in an information gap. radiation
measurements should be open data and provided by the government in an
easy to access and uncensored manner. the current situation in japan
shows a different picture. websites providing up-to-date meassurements
are either down or don’t show valid values. this is where we want to
fill in. we crowdsource the meassuring to people in japan who operate
and own automated or handheld geiger counters or other equipment that
delivers data on radiation levels. this way we all together can try to
fill the currently white map on this page with up-to-date radiation
measurements that help people all over japan to assess the current
risk situation. geigercrowd.net is backed by a capable content
delivery network to hopefully handle more load than the other
available resources that currently provide this data on the web."

These aren’t the only two places doing inspiring work with realtime
and crowdsourced radiation levels data from Japan right now. Here are
some of the others.

PachTube: Japan Radiation Webscrape:
www.pachube.com/feeds?q=radiation+japan+webscrape

Tableau: Japan Radiation Levels Dashboard:
public.tableausoftware.com/static/images/no-vis-available…

Google Docs: Japan Radiation, Prefecture Max Values:
spreadsheets.google.com/lv?key=tCr77vOXy-A25wVPB7BHOwg&am…

Gebweb: Japan Radiation Map:
gebweb.net/blogpost/2011/03/17/japan-radiation-map/
gebweb.net/japan-radiation-map/

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