Project Details


Danger Maps

Allowing people to search for environmental hazards.

Project URL:

  • Community Engagement
  • Geolocation
  • Mobile
  • Social Software

In 2007, a man in his early thirties named Liu Chunlei put down a deposit for a new apartment in Shanghai. It was only after he moved in that he realised he had purchased real estate that sat right next to a huge landfill – something that he was (conveniently for some) not informed of when he negotiated the purchase.

Liu has since set up a website to help people like him avoid such situations in the future. It’s called Danger Maps, and it allows people to search for environmental hazards that may affect their decisions – anything from oil refineries to toxic-waste treatment facilities and power plants, to the aforementioned landfills.

He took as his inspiration the “crowdmapping” efforts being pioneered in Kenya and Japan. Danger Maps taps into the knowledge of the masses to build a collective picture of environmental risks in a country where information is usually piecemeal and not always trustworthy. On Danger Maps, information is based on a combination of government data and direct user-generated content. It can be accessed online or through a mobile app.

Liu has plans to extend the website to other themes such as missing people and child abuse, showing the versatility of the crowdmapping technique, especially in a country that has as big a crowd as China.

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Last updated: 09th of May, 2014

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