Minds Behind Maps

Maps Are Everywhere. These are conversations with those building them.



episode 39: Kuo-Yu 'Slayer' Chuang: Leveraging Taiwan's Unique Infrastructure to Support Disaster Response - MBM#39

Kuo-Yu 'Slayer' Chuang is the co-founder of GeoThings, a Taiwanese company leveraging SMS to share GPS location, images & any useful information for disaster response. He was also on the board of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team; and has focused on applying mapping to supporting humanitarian endeavours mostly in Asia. 

Episode Sponsor: GeoAwesomeness & UP42 EO Hub

Support the podcast on Patreon

About Slayer:

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • GeoThings


  • Cell Tower data source (used in the intro animation): OpenCellid
  • GeoThings
  • CrisisMappers
  • Asian Development Bank
  • Open GeoSMS Standard
  • HOT: Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team
  • ITRI: Industrial Technology Research Institute
  • Line
  • Book Podcast (and games) recommendations:
    • BBC Podcasts
    • Xbox Game Pass


(00:00) Introduction

(02:20) Conversation starts: Slayer describes himself

(07:47) Tech, Preparation & Emergency Situations

(12:18) Deciding what to work on

(16:56) From Idea to Application

(22:03) Focusing on Humanitarian Applications

(26:17) Apps are only useful if people have phones

(31:42) Mobile App or SMS?

(33:30) Aggregating data (Command center)

(36:25) Dealing with Sensitive Data

(40:25) Emergency phone notifications

(42:27) Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team

(48:54) State of OpenStreetMap (& open source) in Taiwan

(53:44) Language barrier in Open Source & Programming

(58:26) Line, the most popular app in Taiwan

(01:05:55) Tech literacy

(01:11:06) Taiwan's jump directly to mobile

(01:16:22) Social Enterprise Company

(01:19:40) The Incentives of a Social Entreprise

(01:24:19) GeoThing's Business Model

(01:27:46) Long term support

(01:36:42) Geopolitics of working in Taiwan

(01:47:57) Book/podcast (& games) recommendations

(01:52:04) Sidetrack conversation on Xbox's business model

(01:54:49) Launching a Patreon

- Support on Patreon
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- Edited by Peter Xiong. Find more of his work

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 March 15, 2023  1h56m