Building a network of open data sensors in Japan

Sean Bonner (Safecast)
Big Ideas
Location: Conference Room E Level:
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 1 rating)

Safecast was conceived and born in under 72 hours, and was originally known as The initial idea was aggregating published radiation levels from established sources around Japan to paint a clear overall picture of what was happening. However once that data was complied there were more questions than answers as obvious black holes became apparent and the validity of the data came into question. The idea changed from aggregating data to collecting it ourselves, which brought with it new challenges as sensor hardware was suddenly sold out worldwide. From buying sensors, to building sensors, from distributing them to driving around with them the plan to collect the data constantly changed from “what would be cool to do” to “what we can actually do, right this minute.” Doing something became the most important motivator and a growing team of volunteers from around the world focused on doing just that. In addition to actually doing something good for people, this project became an interesting look at embracing chaos and allowing things to happen sometimes triumphing over hard laid plans.

Photo of Sean  Bonner

Sean Bonner


Sean Bonner is a Los Angeles based entrepreneur, journalist, activist and enthusiast. Bonner has co-founded hackerspaces and blog networks, an art gallery, design firm and record label. He is a board member of Coffee Common, works closely with Neoteny Labs in Singapore and Tokyo and has been a regular contributor to BoingBoing. He’s one of the co founders of Safecast

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