Segments in this Video

Japan Earthquake (01:54)


A map shows vehicles' movements in Tokyo during the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami, using big data.

Movement After Earthquake (02:12)

Many people headed toward the flood zone after Japan's earthquake and were caught in cars when the tsunami struck. Using big data, we can learn lessons.

Studying Disaster Big Data (02:00)

Modern society is based on information technology. The Big Data Project for Disaster Prevention studies the Japanese earthquake. Companies and organizations contributed data.

Studying East Japan Earthquake (01:11)

The East Japan earthquake claimed more victims than any disaster in post-War Japan. Researchers examine big data on the earthquake.

Tracking Movements (03:26)

Cell phones and GPS systems track people's movements. A map shows people's movements in Ishinomaki slowing as soon as the earthquake hits.

People In Flood Zone (02:02)

Analysis shows how many people were in flood zones following Japan's earthquake, how many were evacuating and how many headed toward shore.

Entering Flood Zone (01:32)

Many evacuated the coast immediately after Japan's earthquake, but later more people moved toward shore.

Pick Up Behavior (04:17)

Many cars went to shore after Japan's earthquake and eventually turned around, indicating they were picking up relatives. Many died trying.

Unable to Leave (02:28)

In the coastal town Rikuzen-takata, big data reveals little movement after the earthquake, as the tsunami flooded evacuation sights.

Failure to Leave Flood Zone (02:04)

The tsunami submerged Rikuzen-takata, killing many. A man took footage from the roof of his store.

Staying Put (01:32)

Data reveals when people in Japan's flood zone started to move and indicates that many died in places they thought were safe.

Big Data and Fukushima (02:21)

An expert seeks to determine how many were exposed to radiation at Fukushima. An image tracks evacuation, along with dissemination of Iodine 131.

Traffic Jams (01:12)

Traffic jams increased casualties in Japan's tsunami. Big data may reveal underlying mechanisms behind these traffic jams.

Gridlock (02:58)

In Ishinomaki, surrounded by rivers, traffic jams were occurring near bridges before the earthquake. After the earthquake, gridlock prevented cars from moving.

Disaster and Traffic Jam (02:43)

When the earthquake hit, cars poured into the street from stores, blocking traffic. The tsunami hit trapped cars.

Solving Traffic Jams (01:28)

Experts hopes to overcome gridlock in Ishinomaki in future disasters. Proposals include wider bridges and designating stores as evacuation sites.

Response to Tweet (02:40)

A tweet about the location of stranded, handicapped children at a childcare facility spread quickly; the fire department rescued them 15 hours later.

Twitter and Disaster Response (01:37)

Most tweets asking for help after Japan's earthquake were buried. Researchers are working on a method of extracting emergency tweets.

Rescuers Lack Data (02:54)

Big data shows people stranded in flood zones after the Japanese earthquake, but rescuers did not have the information at the time to know where people were.

Stranded Family (01:44)

The tsunami stranded a family for 72 hours before rescuers learned of them. Rescuers could have saved more people had they known where they were stranded.

Earthquake Preparedness Conference (03:01)

At a 2013 conference, companies and organizations developed a system using big data to obtain an overview of a future Tokyo earthquake in real time.

Summary: Disaster Big Data (00:58)

Japan has experienced many natural disasters. Big data from the latest disaster may help avoid further tragedy.

Credits: Disaster Big Data (00:31)

Credits: Disaster Big Data

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Disaster Big Data: Saving Lives Through Information

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



A project is underway that uses big data to clarify what happened to the more than 20,000 people who died or went missing in the Great East Japan Earthquake. Eleven participating companies, including Google, Twitter, and Honda, have offered their data for analysis. With private industry, government, and academia working together, new tools are also being developed to cope with future disasters. This documentary traces what motivated people to do what they did on the day of the earthquake, while showing how big data provides an understanding that goes beyond photographic and video images. Through the analysis of data collected from cell phones and car navigation systems (including 180 million tweets), the movements of tens of thousands of people are tracked, and the individual lives of those who faced this horrible disaster are brought into clearer focus.

Length: 50 minutes

Item#: EDP60243

ISBN: 978-1-60057-413-9

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA and Canada.