BC Beach Watch With Rohit Bhatia

SEASON 1 EPISODE 28

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  • Anthony returns to Japan next week but brings you a special show from his hometown in Vancouver, Canada.
  • The devastating earthquake in Japan and the subsequent tsunami carried millions of tons of personal belongings out to sea. These belongings are now starting to wash ashore along the west coast of North America. On this show, Anthony talks to Rohit Bhatia about his unique social mapping application that hopes to leverage the power of Facebook to return these lost items that belong to the families in Japan.

East Meets West

On the last day of his holiday in Canada, Anthony gave a quick cast with his friend Rohit Bhatia whose software development company has a very special connection to Japan. CloverPoint is a full-service software company focused on online web mapping and have recently released MapSocial. This interactive mapping platform allows users to post pictures, videos, and audio in real-time and geotag them on a map. An individual can map out their activities and send them to their friends. While Google Maps doesn’t allow users to see other people’s activities in an area, MapSocial allows people to interact in ways such as paying back users and working together.

Part of its interesting feature is the BC Beach Watch. Last year, when the tsunami hit Japan, 200 million tons of debris made their way across the ocean. A lot of personal belongings and artifacts washed ashore in the West Coasts of North America. Rather than doing nothing, Rohit and his company took a proactive approach to return these lost items. It was a positive approach to the disaster to help Japanese citizens get back some of the things they lost.

To document where items come ashore and try to get it back to its rightful owner in Japan, the company works with the community and government authorities. When someone finds something that looks like it came from Japan, he or she can take a picture and upload it on BC Beach Watch. The public app can also be launched on Facebook to get hold of a mass audience.

The map points out where the item was found. This can give an overview of the debris that’s coming ashore. This can also engage the community and help concentrate retrieval efforts. Japanese citizens can take a look at it on Facebook and on the map to see if there’s something that belongs to them. They can then contact their government to see what’s in the area and find ways to return the items if someone claims them.

Once the application is up, people can check it on Facebook or Twitter for updates. The company hopes to put together efforts and come together for the loss of Japan through its mapping technology and social media.

When Anthony gets back in Japan, he will talk to Hikosaemon, one of the most popular YouTube creators who gives his insight on what it’s like to be a foreigner in Japan!

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