Born from fire and flood

The last few years have been eventful. Fires, floods, pandemic, extreme weather, social upheaval, terrorism, extremism, and seismic shifts in social patterns. People are increasingly connected and increasingly overwhelmed by the constant barrage of information. The organisations responsible for conveying critical information to the public have found their role increasingly important yet also increasingly difficult as the need for information and the chaos of information-overload clash.

Social media platforms and traditional web sites are failing to resolve this situation. Most organisations cast their information onto the web and into the social wilderness and hope that the public will be able to find it. Information scrolls by on platforms like Twitter, mixed in with advertising and interest-driven content, requiring consumers to not only have subscribed to the right feeds but also to have their eyes constantly glued to their screens to receive the critical messages being communicated. Often social media 'groups' become informal information aggregators, the efficacy of these groups only as good as the searching ability and responsiveness of their members.

Alternatives such as bespoke mobile applications are effective to gain cut through but they are very costly to develop and maintain, and are frequently designed to suit a single organisation's communication strategy; leaving out information from adjacent organisations that is critical to consumers. Centralised management of comms across multiple disparate groups typically creates too heavy an administrative burden.

To solve these problems a platform is needed that:

  • Aggregates information from multiple sources
  • Allows decentralisation of publishing
  • Categorises information by topic
  • Targets information based on location
  • Allows both information discovery and delivery
  • Can be consumed via multiple channels

That's where Place.Earth comes in.

Decentralised Communications

One of the primary challenges in population-scale crisis communications is the multitude of providers involved in responding to the crisis. Beyond the state-level government bodies with primary responsibility are secondary bodies, local government, volunteer organisations such Red Cross, federal bodies such as the Bureau of Meterology and Department of Defence, corporations with responsibility for electricity, water, and private roads, police, transport operators, and countless community groups and businesses who are all critical to those on the ground.

Centralising and coordinating communications across all of these groups to the point where concise location-specific messages can be provided to the affected population seems an impossible task.

The Place.Earth platform provides a mechanism to decentralise communications. An unlimited number of entities may be authorised to contribute to the flow of information to a particular audience without requiring central coordination. Tagged with location and topic, the information is then categorised and aggregated, resulting in a single view of all information relevant to any particular location.

Diagram of distributed communications model

Multi-dimensional diversity

Place.Earth strives to 'meet people where they are'

Any population-scale tool must be designed to allow for the diversity of the given population. Flexibility to publish information that adapts to the consumer's situation is critical.

Language is the obvious starting point. Place.Earth allows any message to be published in multiple languages, with the system able to deliver the required language to the consumer based on their personal preference. Additionally, automated translation tools are able to be leveraged to automatically translate into any common language.

Beyond language, technological diversity is the next challenge. Place.Earth is able to deliver information via multiple channels, including:

  • Mobile applications
  • Web sites
  • Email
  • SMS Messages
  • WhatsApp Messages
  • Computer generated or pre-recorded traditional telephone messages
  • Many other mechanisms via software integration

Privacy, Managed

The Place.Earth platform allows location-specific information to be discovered and delivered, without the publishing organisation knowing anything about the recipient.

All data flowing to publishers is automatically anonymised; removing the requirement for publishing organisations to interact with sensitive consumer information such as location or personal identifiers. This dramatically decreases compliance requirements, allowing the focus to be on delivering the message and providing the service.

This is accomplished by publishing all information to a location, and a topic. Any personal details required for managing the delivery of the information are kept separate and secure. All sensitive information required for information delivery (such as phone numbers and device IDs), is managed within the platform and never shared with the publisher unless an explicit informed choice is made by the end user (for example to register themselves as requiring special assistance).

Additionally, Place.Earth has no hidden agenda. The platform derives it's income from the organisations who pay for subscriptions to publish information. End user data is not used for targeting advertisements or sold to other organisations, unlike social or other media platforms.

Like to know more?

Contact our team today and let's work together to make sure everyone receives the message.

The Mission

The team behind Place.Earth are on a mission to leverage their combined skills and experience to make the world work better for everyone. Solving population-level crisis communications is just one of the many projects in the pipeline.

Contact Details

PO Box 664 • Balmain, NSW • Australia