Yoh Kawano came to Los Angeles and UCLA in 1995 after living across the globe, in 5 different countries. At UCLA he works at the GIS and Visualization Sandbox as a member of the Research Technology Group for the Institute for Digital Research and Education (IDRE), serving as the Campus GIS Coordinator while holding lecturer positions in Urban Planning, Public Policy, Digital Humanities and the Urban Humanities. He has supervised projects in urban planning, emergency preparedness, disaster relief, volunteerism, archaeology, and the digital humanities. Current research and projects involve the geo-spatial web, visualization of temporal and spatial data, and creating systems that leverage social media and web services in conjunction with traditional information systems.
Following the Great Tohoku Earthquake in Japan, Yoh has been busy researching the potential that the social web can have in post-disaster relief. In the inaugural TEDxUCLA event in 2011, he spoke of ways that locational technologies, combined with social media, can provide an immediate and real-time opportunity for big and small crisis management. He is currently involved in the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan, working as a GIS and visualization advisor for a research project based in Niigata University, collaborating with local governments who are actively measuring radiation levels in communities surrounding the Fukushima Nuclear Plants.
Yoh has an MA in Urban Planning from UCLA and a BA in Sociology from the International Christian University (ICU) in Tokyo and has co-authored the book “Hypercities: Thick Mapping in the Digital Humanities,” published in 2014 via Harvard Press.