The government of Nagata Ward in Kobe will never forget that fateful day of January 17, 1995 when the Great Hanshin Earthquake devastated the region. Now almost 19 years later, visitors to the city can see how far they have come towards reconstructing the city through a location-based smartphone app that was developed by the government.
They wanted to preserve the memory of what the city looked like in the aftermath of the earthquake and then compare it to how far they have come now decades later. The app developers used archive photos from 98 identifiable spots in the Shin-Nagata Minami and Shin-Nagata Kita districts around JR Shin-Nagata Station and in the Noda Hokubu and Takatori Higashi districts south of JR Takatori Station. Visitors to the areas can access the map archive and images by first downloading the free mobile app junaio for either iOS or Android, and then go to certain areas around the city. When they’re in a location where image data is available, they just point their phones in the direction of where the photo was taken and they can see what it looked like after the earthquake and compare to what it looks like now.
The city government expects that the app will be used by people who are interested to learn more about the earthquake that took 6,000 lives. There are also visitors to the area who want to see how Kobe has been able to reconstruct and then use this lessons for the still ongoing disaster recovery efforts from the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, as well as for disaster preparedness education.
[ via Asahi Shimbun ]