Following Japan’s earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 and the subsequent Fukushima Daiichi power plant meltdown, information about the affected areas and levels of nuclear contamination has been difficult to find.
Today, Knight Foundation announced that citizen scientists and researchers would receive an increased supply of sensors and measurement devices in an effort to increase crowdsourced information about radiation levels. With the new funding, Safecast will also revamp the software used to process and store the data collected.
Safecast, a volunteer organization focused on collecting environmental data through a sensor network, will coordinate the project. Since March, Safecast has collected and published close to a million individual radiation readings and installed over 60 static monitoring sensors around Japan. It has already made efforts to take readings globally to help with education and understanding what measurements mean to residents.
In its efforts, Safecast is committed to open data, open hardware and empowering people with information about their surroundings. All the data it has collected is open and free for anyone to use, analyze or cross reference with other data sets.