Feeds

China's Danger Maps highlight health hazards

Dirt the party doesn't like to talk about exposed by mashup

Top three mobile application threats

China’s many environmental hazards are well documented, as are its government’s less than transparent approach to governing. But one enterprising local start-up has managed to address both in a new app which uses publicly available information to let users check whether they’re about to move next door to a landfill.

Danger Maps mashes up data from local government environmental departments and China’s environmental protection ministry with Baidu Maps to present users with a detailed view of any local health hazards.

Results can be listed within a 5km radius or expanded to 5-10kms from the searched-for location.

A quick search for this reporter’s flat on Hong Kong Island yielded several petrol stations, a Shell refinery, three sewage treatment plants and – presumably if the worst happens – two local hospitals.

Information listed includes the name and type of facility, its address and the distance to the user’s location, all of which could be pretty useful for flat-hunters – especially those moving to a new area with children in tow.

Tian Yu of the not-for-profit app developer IT Engineers for Environmental Protection Association told TechInAsia that the idea for designing the tool came because he lives next door to a landfill.

“I thought, if I had known about the environmental situation here when I was buying a house, perhaps my decision would have been more well informed and maybe I wouldn’t have bought the house at all,” he said.

The next stage of the project is apparently to work with environmental groups to build a platform whereby users can report new facilities or incidents – thereby crowdsourcing to build up an even more comprehensive picture of environmental hazards.

Thanks in part to the power of social media, the Chinese public has become increasingly vocal about the environmental and health effects of polluting heavy industry – a knock-on effect of the country’s rapid economic growth.

Tens of thousands took to the streets of Shifang in Sichuan province in the summer to protest local government plans to build a molybdenum copper plant, for example.

The UK government, of course, has had its own version Danger Maps for some time now. The police.uk site maps out criminal incidents in the vicinity of a user’s location.

However, the site appears to have backfired somewhat after it emerged that locals were deliberately not reporting crimes for fear of devaluing the neighbourhood. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.