Image Mining for Disaster Management


Participants brainstorming at the first research dive on computational linguistics and natural language processing

Pulse Lab Jakarta is hosting a ‘Research Dive’ from 13th to 16th November in Jakarta, bringing together data innovators from across Indonesia to further disaster management through the sophisticated use of image-based datasets. Below is a quick summary of what to expect from the event.

A Hackathon for Researchers

Building on Pulse Lab Jakarta’s first Research Dive in July, this dive is bringing together researchers and GIS enthusiasts from across the archipelago for another intense research sprint in collaboration with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, also known as UN OCHA.

Across the four days, researchers will examine image-based datasets from social media, satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) with the eventual aim of developing tools to inform disaster management.

The participants will self-organise into four research teams, focussing on:

  1. Image classification related to haze events;
  2. Inference of visibility levels from images of haze in Sumatra island;
  3. Quantification of the impact of volcanic eruption from satellite imagery;
  4. Modelling risks and assessing hazards using the landslides in Garut as a case study.

Mix and Match

Consistent with the theory that the best talent and ideas are outside of one’s organisation, Pulse Lab Jakarta launched a call for ideas and participants. The competition was intense and the quality of submissions was high.

The Research Dive will host a mix of 16 researchers with image mining and Geographic Information System (GIS) backgrounds coming from various locations across Indonesia including: Makassar, Ternate, Manado, Madura, Surabaya, Lampung, and Yogyakarta. The workshop hopes to also provide a collaborative space where participants from different geographic areas can expand their networks and forge new partnerships.

Two advisers, one from the Department of Geodetic and Geomatic Engineering at Gajah Mada University and one from the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) of the Government of Indonesia, will provide guidance to the teams.

The event will also benefit from the insights of the Head of Data and Information at the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) and UN OCHA regarding disaster management as well as disaster mitigation efforts.

Epistemic impact

The teams will develop prototype analytical tools and research insights from the four topic areas highlighted above. In addition, each team will draft a technical paper that Pulse Lab Jakarta plans to edit into a short journal for dissemination among research networks in Indonesia and beyond.

Keep up with ‘Dive’ updates by following Pulse Lab Jakarta’s twitter account @PulseLabJakarta.

Pulse Lab Jakarta is grateful for the generous support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Government of Australia.



UN Global Pulse Asia Pacific
United Nations Global Pulse Asia Pacific

UN Global Pulse Asia Pacific is a regional hub that aims to drive data innovation and sustainable development to ensure that no one is left behind.