Students to help researchers map floods in Jakarta

A team of students is heading to Indonesia to help map seasonal floods as monsoon season peaks.

Students in Jakarta
Students travelled to Jakarta in November 2014 to assist the lead researchers on the project. Photo: Dr Etienne Turpin.

A team of students is heading to Jakarta, Indonesia, to help map seasonal floods in the city as monsoon season peaks.

The group of ten is the second student team to travel to the city of 28 million people to work on the project, which is powered by an open source geosocial intelligence framework known as CogniCity developed at UOW’s SMART Infrastructure Facility. While the first group of students were focused on surveying and measuring, the second team will be observing the impact of floods, particularly on people. aims to empower citiziens of Jakarta to report instances of flooding to the Jakarta Disaster Management Agency (BPBD, DKI Jakarta). Data harvested via the platform will also be used to help the city better manage the widespread problem of flooding during wet season.

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Students in Jakarta
Photo: Dr Tomas Holderness

Engineering student Daniel Simpson, 20, who was a member of the first team, which was in Jakarta in November 2014 and present at the project’s official launch on December 2, spoke to the Illawarra Mercury about the experience, saying he relished the opportunity to put theory into practise.

"We worked with students from the University of Indonesia and the Jakarta Emergency Management Agency to interview people about their experiences," he told the newspaper.

"We'd ask questions about crowding, whether they had enough food and water and what the sanitation was like; we'd also collect GPS data from each location."

PetaJakarta is a key UOW Global Challenges project helping to address the challenge of Sustaining Coastal and Marine Zones and is further supported by Australian National Data Service. The project has also benefited from a Twitter #DataGrant, which was awarded to the lead researchers in April 2014. Student teams in Jakarta are supported by the Australian Government's New Colombo Plan student mobility grants.

Students in Jakarta
Jakarta is Indonesia's capital city and experiences severe flooding during wet season. Photo: Dr Tomas Holderness.

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