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Japanese Prefecture Implements Cloud-based Disaster Management System
Source: futuregov
Source Date: Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Country: Japan
Created: Oct 11, 2011

The Shizuoka Prefecture, a region located on the eastern coast of Honshu island, has implemented a cloud-based disaster management system in an effort to prevent the loss of key data infrastructures during natural disasters.

Keisuke Uchiyama, an Official from the Shizuoka Prefecture, said that the system was implemented with a budget of about JPY 200 million (USD 2.6 million), and is currently hosted on Salesforce.com’s servers overseas in the U.S. and will go live when an official disaster warning is issued by the Japanese Government.

The new system combines GIS data with XML sent from Japan’s Meteorological Agency. With this capability in place, users can also send email updates from the field by using their mobile phones, with GPS coordinates and pictures attached. In addition, it also links up information about key infrastructures such as roads, heliports, and evacuation centres.

With their servers hosted overseas, Uchiyama said that this would be advantageous as an obvious downside to a hosted system is that key infrastructure is often destroyed during natural disasters, citing the aftermath of the powerful earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan’s north eastern coast in March, where towns were completely devastated and networks were down for weeks.

“It would have cost a lot more to run our own servers and network, and if a disaster happened managing something like that would be very difficult, especially if the prefecture office was damaged,” he said.

According to Uchiyama the cloud-based disaster management system is based on Salesforce.com’s platform-as-a-service offering, Force.com.

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