To streamline disaster response to flooding in Indonesia,, a natural disaster map, uses open source tools, open data, and Mapbox services.

As a coastal city with over 13 rivers, Jakarta experiences some form of flooding every rainy season. However, this year has been one of the worst. has processed, filtered, and connected social media reports of flooding into the workflow of disaster managers at the Indonesian National Board of Disaster Management (BPNB) allowing for a faster, more precise response.


Recent flooding in Jakarta (image credit BPBD DKI Jakarta)

For flooding disasters, it’s difficult to predict and assess where exactly flooding will impact, since it’s largely dependent on localized infrastructure failures. Residents alert each other - informal phone trees are common along waterways - warning of a flood coming downstream. Many also use Twitter and Telegram to share when there is a flood. To access and collect this local knowledge, Tomas Holderness of MIT Urban Risk Lab chose to “repurpose the things people already use” by collecting the flooding information shared on social media.

disaster management center

An operator in the Indonesian Emergency Management Control Room uses to review the flood situation in Jakarta (image credit

This creates a huge volume of unstructured data. Using a bot-driven survey in response to posts about floods, filters and collects high quality reports. During the most severe flooding event, they collected and mapped 1,050 confirmed reports from Jakarta residents in a 10 hour period. Disaster managers view reports grouped by neighborhood — the way all of the response is organized. That neighborhood geo data is only available in OpenStreetMap, thanks to the amazing work of Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team. In fact, OpenStreetMap is the base map for almost all government work in Indonesia, and open source is the default choice for software development.

screenshot of

Screenshot of during flood event in February 2017 showing reports and flood affected neighborhoods gained a large audience when it was picked up by the TV news during the most recent flooding and it lead to a massive spike of map views. The team chose to build with Mapbox Streets in order to scale quickly during the intense spikes of use emergencies can bring.

Our tools are often used for quickly integrating the urgent data of flooding and other emergencies, like in Charleston and Chennai. Get in touch through Mapbox Humanitarian and we can help you respond.