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”Danger Maps” highlight toxic levels in China

Hong Kong: As pollution concerns rise in China, a new site called Danger Maps is harnessing the power of crowdsourcing to identify polluted locations, such as waste treatment facilities, garbage dumps and oil refineries. The site was started by Liu Chunlei after he discovered that his Shanghai apartment is near a landfill, something that was not disclosed when he made his purchase.

Liu Chunlei is boosting environmental awareness among the nation”s 564 million Internet users with help from the charitable arm of Alibaba Group Holding. Users of Danger Maps can look up potentially hazardous sites within a 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) radius of any address in China. Liu said he hasn”t yet had significant problems with user data, and that Danger Maps hasn”t received complaints from government agencies or real estate developers. He said he will only delete information that is false or libelous. Inspired by “crowd-mapping” efforts in Kenya and Japan, the site taps the knowledge of China”s masses to draw attention to environmental risks in a nation where public information is often scattered and incomplete. Liu is expanding his site by letting users add information to maps with other themes such as missing people and child abuse. The site is a great way to make people care about environmental protection and engages the public.

Source: North Jersey