This photo is Joi Lto (伊藤 穰一), he is a Japanese-American activist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist and Director of the MIT Media Lab (from his wikipage).
March 11, 2011, when the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami happened, he was just chosen to be the new director of MIT Media Lab, but his wife and family still in Japan at the very moment. He wanted to know the status in Japan eagerly, but despaired by the government and media. They just couldn’t provide enough information , immediately and accurately.
So he went to Internet try to figure out how to measure the radiation by himself, and found a lot of other people just wanted to the same things. Then they loosely formed a group call SafeCast, they measure the radiation and public the data to everybody else.
Now after 3 years, Safecast have 16 million data points, these data mainly from Japan.
And rest from a lot of other countries.
And you can see these is not so many data in China yet.
From the map and data you can see most of Japan is very safe just like other countries, Because I have a trip plan to Japan, I am very glad to know it.
How to build global radiation monitoring network?
If you ask government, they will tell you this need a lot of money and time, and after some very long time, they maybe can provide you some just hundreds of points just in one nation and will cost a lot of money to maintain these stations forever.
What is the different? Internet.
Internet make the information can free transfer, so people in different place in different country can cooperate with each other to do great things.
At his speech, he talked about a lot of other useful and interest informations, so please enjoy this speech:
TED: Joi Ito: Want to innovate? Become a “now-ist” – Joi Ito (2014)