Images and Stories of the Canterbury Earthquake

After the earthquake in Canterbury, several New Zealand government agencies – following the NZGOAL framework – released their photos, videos and data under a Creative Commons licence.

At the time, this meant that the public could post, reuse and share the latest information about the extent of the disaster. In 2012, these resources constitute an extraordinary – and extraordinarily open – archive. Here are a few examples:

Land Information New Zealand released their aerial photography on the Koordinates platform, which is still their most popular download.

Christchurch city from the air, after the earthquake, via Koordinates. Made available by LINZ under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 NZ licence.

The New Zealand Defence Force also released their aerial photography under a Creative Commons licence.

Christchurch from the air, after the earthquake, via Flickr. Made available by the NZ Defence Force under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 NZ licence.

As we reported at the time, Civil Defence also released footage of inner-city Christchurch under an open Creative Commons licence.

After the earthquake, public institutions like the Christchurch City Library, the National Library of New Zealand and Canterbury University formed the CEISMIC Consortium and began to call for people who experienced the earthquake to share their stories and photos online.

They developed several websites, including Quake Stories and a section of Kete Christchurch. Most of the stories and photos on these sites have been given a Creative Commons 3.0 New Zealand licence, to make sure the public has advance permission to share and reuse the works.

Most recently, the plan for the Christchurch Recover Plan was published with a Creative Commons Attribution licence.

Check out the photos from Quake Stories here.

Know of any other resources about the Canterbury earthquake? Tell us in the comments thread.


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