UN Global Pulse is pleased to share an update on Haze Gazer, a crisis analysis and visualization tool that provides real-time information on fire and haze hotspots in Indonesia.
The tool, which was prototyped last year with support from the Government of Indonesia, has been refined and further developed based on feedback received from stakeholders. Moreover, the hazegazer.org platform was officially launched in January 2017 at the UN World Data Forum. Below is a summary of the additional features that were included since the announcement of the prototype and the plans for scaling it up.
From prototype to pilot
Since the prototype was launched last year, Pulse Lab Jakarta has been working to enable general public access and use of the Haze Gazer tool.
The platform aims to provide insights on the location and strength of fire and haze hotspots as well as on the response strategies of affected populations. It uses advanced data analytics and data science to mine open data, such as fire hotspot information from satellites (Global Forest Watch), as well as social signals in the form of text (Twitter and LAPOR!), image (Instagram), and video (YouTube).
Through the platform, users can generate more precise insights on haze situations on the ground with charts and maps that combine the dynamics of real-time social signals with statistic information such as a population distribution and point-of-interest (for example, the locations of schools and hospitals).
Specifically, Haze Gazer now includes:
- Mobile web version: making the essential functions of the platform easily accessible;
- Data and scenarios: real-time insights as well as a couple of case studies from major haze events that occurred in the Indonesian provinces of Riau (2014) and Kalimantan (2015).
Pulse Lab Jakarta made the platform publicly available in the hope that it will (a) in the short-term, increase citizen engagement, (b) in the medium-term, empower citizens, and (c) in the long-term, strengthen the resilience of local communities.
The Lab is conducting field research to better understand how residents in haze-prone areas gather information on haze and haze-related impacts as well as how they share the information with their networks.
This will undoubtedly inform the development of the Haze Gazer mobile interface, as well as shape how other aspects of the tool will be developed. Some of the applications the Lab is looking to include:
- Expanding the coverage of social signals to include surrounding areas, such as Singapore and Malaysia;
- Strengthening the tool by including additional types of data, such as meteorological data;
- Developing a virtual reality function to enable users to understand local event dynamics and impacts;
- Applying the platform to a different context, for instance, the monitoring of social signals around cyclones in the Pacific;
- Deploying geolocation trackers to understand mobility during haze events, a concept inspired by Pathways;
- Building a chatbot for residents in haze-prone areas imparting advice on adaptation strategies and who to contact in an emergency;
- Developing a game to incentivise the crowdsourcing of regular images in order to assess haze density.
Haze Gazer is now publicly available at: http://hazegazer.org/ and can be tested by anyone interested. Pulse Lab Jakarta continues to seek feedback and collaborations for developing the platform.
Pulse Lab Jakarta is grateful for the generous support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Government of Australia.
This project is linked to Sustainable Development Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, and Sustainable Development Goal 15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss.