Impact: Social data mapped in real time helping to save lives and inform emergency services during extreme weather events

A UOW crowd-sourcing urban data collection project – – that uses social media to promote the resilience of cities to both extreme weather events and to long-term infrastructure transformation as a process of climate adaptation is having a huge impact on how Jakarta’s citizens and government agencies prepare for and respond to severe monsoonal flooding.

The innovative open source software CogniCity—developed by the SMART Infrastructure Facility—allows for information on Jakarta’s flooding to be collected and disseminated by community members through their location-enabled mobile devices. CogniCity can detect conversations about flooding in real-time and send an automated request to users for additional flood information.

This crowd-sourced information is then displayed on a real-time web-based map at, enabling the citizens of Jakarta to see for the first time a city-wide situational overview of seasonal flooding. is used by the Government of Jakarta and the Emergency Management Agency (BPBD DKI Jakarta) as a real-time indicator of flood activity, thereby improving knowledge about and response to extreme flood events.

This is having a significant effect on Jakarta’s emergency response as the ability to quickly collect and display information is helping to improve the capacity of the BPBD to make time-critical decisions and coordinate response efforts.

The project is a world-first collaboration, led by the SMART Infrastructure Facility at UOW, in partnership with BPBD DKI Jakarta and Twitter, Inc. The project marks Twitter’s first official academic research collaboration using live data.

The project is also supported by the SMART GeoSocial Intelligence Research Group and the SMART OSGeo Lab, with the goal of extending our knowledge of urban liveability and resilience.

    Dr Tomas Holderness
    Dr Etienne Turpin
    Dr Matthew Berryman
    Dr Rohan Wickramasuriya
    Dr Rodney Clarke
    Dr Olivia Dun