Local app monitors Japan radiation

| Print |  Email
The Latest
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
By ILIE MITARU

Portland-based Uncorked Studios has been getting a lot of press lately — CBS news, the BBC, Time and Fast Company, among others. But what’s drawing the attention isn’t another project for Nike or Wieden+Kennedy; it’s something the team put together in their free time — a website to monitor radiation levels in Japan after the tsunami disaster, which caused damage to its nuclear plants.

“We’re very idea-based individuals. We had an idea, and it took off,” says Marcelino Alvarez, founding partner of Uncorked.

The website, RDTN.org, receives data from a handful of partners, including Japan’s ministry of education, culture, sports, science and technology. It also encourages users on the ground to take radiation levels and submit them to the site. Not much user-data has been submitted, says Alvarez, partly because prices for radiation detectors have skyrocketed on sites like Amazon.com. The data coming from users is also more difficult to verify compared to credible partners.

RDTN.org displays the data on a google map embed and updates levels every 10 minutes. The site took 72 hours to initially build, and has had more than 172,000 unique visitors since it’s launch in late March. “We are amazed of how positive the response has been,” says Alvarez.

The entire Uncorked team has stepped up and are putting in more hours working on the website, says Alvarez. But he doesn’t see it as a distraction from billable client work, “This has been such an energizing project for the company,” he says.

The team is so serious about this that they’re looking into incorporating the platform as a nonprofit and have sent their creative director, David Ewald, to Japan to meet with contacts on the ground. They are also considering purchasing and installing radiation sensors in Japan to assure the continued stream of accurate, reliable data.

With the multitude of agile, creative firms in the Northwest, it will be interesting to see if such mission-driven spin-off projects become more prevalent.

Ilie Mitaru is a contributing writer for Oregon Business.

 

More Articles

Short Shrift:The threat of just-in-time scheduling

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Companies can benefit when they use software to meet staffing requirements and address employees' family and life commitments.


Read more...

Much ado about data-driven organizations, for good reason

Contributed Blogs
Monday, April 13, 2015
bigdatathumbBY GRANT KIRBY | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

The mega-shift from technology-driven to data-driven organizations raises questions about Oregon’s workforce preparedness.


Read more...

5 questions for Flywheel CEO Rakesh Mathur

The Latest
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
FW splashBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Portland is awash in rideshare options. We ask the head of Flywheel what sets his app apart.


Read more...

5 questions for inDinero CEO Jessica Mah

The Latest
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
jessicathumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

inDinero, a business that manages back-office accounting for startups and smaller companies, recently announced it would relocate its headquarters from San Francisco to Portland. We talked to CEO Jessica Mah about what drew her to Portland and how she plans to disrupt the traditional CPA model.


Read more...

5 ways successful people kickstart the day

The Latest
Thursday, April 02, 2015
coffeethumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Are mornings the most productive part of the day?  We ask five successful executives how they get off to a good start.


Read more...

Banking Perspective

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Craig Wanichek, president and CEO of Summit Bank.


Read more...

Man for All Seasons

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

A longtime technologist and entrepreneur, Dwayne Johnson, 53, is managing partner of PDXO/GlobeThree Ventures, a strategy and business consultancy in Portland.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS