Climate data from the past 10 years


As part of my thesis research, I wanted to look into natural disasters that had occurred in the past 10 years. FEMA has extensive data, that goes back to 1953 and broken down to towns in each state.


Here is a snapshot of FEMA’s data. Very detailed and a lot of information to look through.


With this data, I decided to create data visualization using leaflet.js and d3.js. I only concentrated on water-based emergencies, meaning hurricanes, severe storms, and floods (including flash floods).

According to the data, every state has experienced a disaster. Severe storms are most common disasters here in the U.S. Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma had the most disasters in the last 10 years.

With climate change, sea levels are rising and these types of disasters will be much more common in the next few years.



Organizing my research


I am never this organized, but I decided to start to organize my research for my thesis. Bookmarking links does not cut it for me anymore. Especially, when I forget what they were about a week later. Researching for my thesis is information overload and super detailed in my organizing.

Here is the screenshot of what it looks like in my google drive.

I receive my research from all over. From the internet, books, videos, talks I go to and interviews. So I decided to make these my main categories.  Then I would break down each research by adding the source, summary, and tagging them. The summary is the essence of the article and tagging them helps it to be a quick reference.



Thesis plan [Phase 1]

Thesis area: Emergency, water ways, rainy days. This is a very broad topic and there are so many directions, that I can take.

Goal for phase 1: To do much more secondary research on my thesis idea and hope to narrow down my topic y 10%

October 04-11

  1. Research more on other cities and countries

  2. How they deal with floods: Holland and Colombia

  3. What NYC is doing for preparedness: Download app and visit website

  4. Get some ideas from the research: Mock up and sketches


  1. Gather more information on FEMA process, UNICEF, Red cross.

  2. Contact people in the emergency and crisis management to understand their day-to-day and during a disaster

  3. Find people on LinkedIn and contact them

  4. Join Emergency LinkedIn groups

  5. Join Facebook groups on Emergency services and post on the walls

  6. Create a list of people who get affected by a disaster

  7. What is currently out there to help _____________

  8. Who is my audience?

  9. How do___________survive a flood?

  10. Research on cities and rising sea level

  11. Join Team Rubicon

(more to include)

October 4th

  1. Join Team Rubicon

  2. Find people on LinkedIn and contact them

  3. Join Emergency LinkedIn groups

  4. Join Facebook groups on Emergency services and post on the walls

  5. Create a list of people who get affected by a disaster



Talk of image cluster

I had a sit down with Kohzy about my image cluster. I thought he would be the good fit since he is interested in city planning and infrastructure. It was a short chat, but helpful. He saw some themes, that wasn’t obvious to me.

According to my image cluster, I can go both ways. I can go big into systems thinking or small into a human level and objects.

The systems thinking can be a city or worldwide. Building a new world to live permanently on water. Re-examine the levees in New Orleans, how water travels through the city during rain and floods.

The human level ideas can be surviving after the floods; to find food and shelter on water. Rescue mission people trapped in water.

From my image cluster, I can go many ways. While I was planning for my thesis, I was hoping that I will not run out of ideas. It seems now, I have too many ideas.



The future is near

This video was filmed during the 1960’s predicting the future of 1999. The common theme of the video was everything is computerized at your home, even the food you ate were prepared automatically by a tap of a button. 1960’s were on point about the future. Most of the things that they predicted did not happen in 1999, but are happening now and most likely will happen in the future.

I decided to design a 2×2 matrix and see where the predictions fell within the matrix. By doing this, it dawned on me that their future has little to no human interactions. There was a video conferencing and that was used within the house to talk to each other in different rooms. In the end, they did have a house party to show off the video that they recorded, but in the day-to-day, there weren’t any human interactions, except during dinner time.

We already have less human interactions in our day to day lives with Slack, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp… the list goes on. Are we going to spend our lives indoors and have more computer interactions?

What did 1960’s predict?