Urgent Appeal -- Japan Nuclear Crisis -- Information Intelligence, Data Visualisation and Key Q&A Request v1.0s

London, UK - 17th March 2011, 20:15 GMT

Dear ATCA Open & Philanthropia Friends

[Please note that the views presented by individual contributors are not necessarily representative of the views of ATCA, which is neutral. ATCA conducts collective Socratic dialogue on global opportunities and threats.]

Japanese government advice and information on the nuclear crisis and evacuation zones around the Fukushima nuclear power plant etc is no longer in lock step with the US and other global powers such as the UK and France. For example, the US has urged the evacuation of its citizens within a 50-mile radius of the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The Japanese government has so far ordered evacuations in a 20-kilometer, or 12-mile, radius of the same plant, and urged people within 20 to 30 kilometers merely to take shelter. Given this discrepancy and for a variety of related reasons, the ordinary Japanese citizens feel they have inadequate information at their fingertips to make the right decisions on nuclear safety and security in regard to themselves and their families. Given the history of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the subject of nuclear exposure is very sensitive in Japan and the population is conscious of radioactive contamination's grave consequences.

One of our distinguished members at the ATCA 5000 -- Wolf Nkole Helzle -- of Medienkunst, based in Stuttgart, Germany, has received the following "Request for Information Intelligence, Data Visualisation and Key Q&A " from the "Institute for Information Design Japan" in regard to the Japan nuclear and radioactive contamination crisis and we, in turn, appeal to you for your urgent assistance. If you can help us to provide this information intelligence, data visualisation, Q&A response, or indeed if you know anybody or any organisation that can help in a specific way, please ask them to get in touch with us via social media -- Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn & Yammer -- or directly by email: intelligence.unit at mi2g dot com

Japan Nuclear Crisis

Urgent Appeal for Critical Data Visualisation -- Institute for Information Design Japan -- IIDj

Dear Sirs

During the past days we have seen events of unimaginable destruction unfolding. The catastrophic break downs with direct physical impact are ungraspable for all of us not being there where it happens.

Developments at the nuclear power stations are even more difficult to comprehend -- we have little cues which would help us relate the short, mid or long-term effects to the scale of urgency we use in our everyday judgments and decision making.

Unfortunately the news provided by official media is short on factual, objective, integral information needed for guidance and acting decisively.

We ask for your help to collect and/or produce visualization that could help the people here in Japan in understanding and assessing of what is going on, providing references for personal judgements as to what to do best.

The situation we experience requires us to make decisions, some of which do have a fundamental impact on the lives we lived so far.

These are our most urgent questions:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

1. What do the various [radioactivity] measure-units used in news-updates mean, how do they relate to each other?


Measures of Sievert/year, milliSievert/hour, microSievert/hour are used throughout

Sometimes the per/time identifier is missing

i. Can one apply simple math to convert from one to the other? ii. How do they relate to other measures such as nGy/h? iii. How do they relate to a reasonable scale of everyday experience? iv. Can we identify ONE normalized measure that would help to put numbers in context?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

2. What are the radiation levels - at any part of the country?

We do not have access to MAPS of current levels -- some of the official maps simply omit locations of most concern...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

3. What are the expected [radiation] levels?

Forecasts which take into account not only wind speed/direction but also altitude levels of air-mass movements, precipitations... and the impact of each of these factors on the ground.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

4. What are the options to act/move [in the event of excessive radiation]?

Visualizations of advisories concerning direct/indirect exposure to radiation and food intake.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

We know that we are asking a lot -- but we are sure that some of you are able to distill essential data out of the many sources and translate these into meaningful and usable communications.

We are planning to publish the returns of this call on a dedicated site but also to send them to news outlets here in japan hoping they would share them with the large audiences desperate for help.

The visualizations should speak for themselves, please use as little textual information as possible - always keep in mind that the audience speaks JAPANESE. If you have access to native speakers, ask for their help.

Please submit your presentations as editable PDF files - that will help us to do the necessary translations. Please includ the source(s) of the data used and a waiver confirming your agreement to the free distribution and usage of your submission.

Thank you very much for your support


Institute for Information Design Japan


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