Notice: The Japanese Red Cross Society materials are temporarily unavailable as we prepare for exciting, new updates to the archive.

How to Use


To search the archive, simply type text into the search box on the JDA landing page or the list or map view page and then either click the orange “search” button to the right of the search box or press the Enter/Return button on your keyboard. You can search with a different view by selecting either "photo view" or "map view" by clicking the field next to the orange "search" botton. Also you can easily filter by type of digital resource, by date, by language and by Partner. To find items predominantly in a certain language, simply type in that language. For example, typing English into the search box yields predominantly English search results, and typing Japanese into the search box yields predominantly Japanese search results. To search for multiple keywords, place space between the words. 

For all items except the testimonials and Tweets, the search engine will search through the title, description, and tags that were provided by the JDA staff, volunteers, and contributors. It will search through the full text of the testimonials and tweets. 

You can alwasy access to the search page by clicking "Seach" on the site header, on top of the site, right next to the JDA logo. 



Using search filters allow you to refine your search. By default, your search look for everything. You can filter your search by clicking different Media Types, Language, Partners and Date. You can access to search filters in both the landing page and in the search page by clicking "TOGGLE FILTERS" under the seach bar or "More Filters" next to the orage "Search" button respectively. 

Landing page image

Search page image


Once you have searched with a keyword, you can sort your search results by clicking Date Published field under the search bar. "Date Published" stands for ordering of items by the newest item added to the archive to the oldest one. "Relevance" stands for ordering by the number of times a specific search keyword appears in item's title, description and any other metadata. "Data Archived" stands for ordering by original date assigned to items by their contributors. 

By default, all the retweets in the archive are hidden from search. You can make those hidden retweets to appear by clicking "Show Retweets" under the search bar. 



To limit your search only to images in the archive, you can switch to "the photo view" and do a keyword search in the toolbar. You can also use the filtered search feature by clicking the "More Filters" button on the left corner of the search bar to further refine your search. You can access to the image search view from the landing page by selecting the "Photo View" in the downward arrow icon right next to the oragne "Search" button. On the Search Page, you can select "Photo" under the main search bar. By clicking "Sort By" you can rearrange the search results. On clicking any item, you can view the detailed information of the partiuclar item. If there is no information for the item, you see the orange "Contribute Title" and "Contribute Description" buttons. You can navigate between the language tabs on top to double check if the item has some infomation in either English or Japanese. 



Exporing the Map

Many items in the archive are geo-tagged. By using the Map search, you can discover items in the archive intuitively from the map. From the map view, you can discover noble connections between and across items. You can get to the map search from the landing page by selecting "Map View" that appears in the downward arrow icon right next to the orange "Search" button. On the search page, you can click the "Map" button to see the map on the window right below the search bar. The archives uses a heatmap technology to render items with geolocations where the density of items in a given area corresponds to different colors (red, yellow, green and blue in the order of the higest to the lowest density). By navigating the map by zooming and/or panning, the number of items on the screen changes as well the rendering of the heats in the map. You can see changes by monitoring the total item numbers in a given map listed on top of the map. When the total item numbers on the screen is lower than 500, the heat display switches to the dot display. You can pin-point your zoom in a partiuclar target area by making a square with your mouse or mouse pad around the area you wish to focus while pressing Shift key.


Discovering Items with the Map

While on the map search view, you can delimit your search by using the keyward search, search filters and the time bar on the right top corner of the map. When you click on an area on and around various colors , a pop-up window with an item or a list of items nearby the area would show up. You can click on individual item to see the detailed infomation of the item. When you want to search other areas, you can click on x on the top right corner of the pop-up window. You can drag & drop an item from this view to add to your collection. 


You can custimize the map view by clicking on the icon right next to the time bar to open a list of map layers. Try different layers to contexualize your search.



What is the "My Collection" Feature?

The “My Collection” feature allows users to organize materials discovered in the archive into a miniature “exhibition” of materials under a certain topic or theme. By curating a collection, you are establishing connections between the items according to your own criteria, and offering others a new perspective on the disasters. You might organize items by theme, place, time, or any other criteria you can imagine. You can also use the function to save items of personal interest to make it easier for you to access them later on. You can personalize your collection by using the note feature to add a memo, an impression and interpretation to your curated items. You can browse the existing public collections by other users here


Creating a New Collection

While anyone can add materials to the archive, only registered users can create curated collections of the archived items. Registration is easy, simply sign into the site using the orange "Sign in" button in the upper right. You can create a new collection via various ways.

1. The easiest way to create a new collection is to search for items of interest, then drag any item to the "my collection" box on the right, or check a small box next to a specific collection(s) you want to add an item in the item pop-up view.

2. You can also create a new collection by clicking on the right side window in the search page. On the very left corner of the windown, under "More Filter" you can see the orange "+" icon. Clicking on the + icon opens up a pop-up window where you can make a new collection.

On the pop-up window, you can give a title and description to your collection. You can also upload an image to your collection. If there is some item with an image in your collection, the image will be used automatically for your collection cover image. If there is no image is selected, the JDA logo will be your collection's cover image by default. Collection cover can help other users to identify and notice your collection, so try to assign a cover image that can capture the theme of your collection. It is possible to share individual collections with others by using the privacy settings. Click on the "Edit Collection" button of your specific collection to set the collection to either “Public” or “Private.” Choosing the “Public” setting means that other users will be able to see your collection. Choosing “Private” means your collection will only be visible to you and those who have a link to the collection. It does not show up in search results unless you change the settings. You can make over 100 collections with one account. 


3. You can also make a new collection by going to your My Collections page. To access your My Collections page, you can click on your account name on the top right corner of the archive and click on "My Collections." This page lists all of your existing collections. When you have multiple collections, you can sort your collections by the orderings of the newest, oldest and alphabetical. In order to create a new collection in this page, click on the orange "Create New Collection" button. Also you can delete a collection from this page. In order to delete a collection, click on the gray icon next to the "My Collections." Once you click the icon, you will see the red x on the top right corner of your exisisitng collection. Please note that once you delete a collection, you cannot retrive it back so be careful when you delete a collection. 

Once you make a new collection, you can drag & drop an item (anywhere in the item field) onto your collection box on the right. When you have multiple collections, you can drag & drop an item onto the partiuclar colletion you would like to add the item. You can click on the donwward arrow on the right side of your collection to open up the field for you to be able to easily drag & drop an item into a partiuclar collection you are working on. When an item is added to a collection sucessfully you will see a green popo-up notice on the left bottom corner of the site. You will also see an increase in the item number in the partiuclar collection.  


You can also add an exisitng user curated collection(s) to your own collection. In order to do so, go to the Collection page by clicking "Collection" in the header and drag & drop a collection you would like to add to your own collection. Note that any note added to an item(s) within a partiuclar collection you are adding will not be transferred to your collection. 

Once you add a couple of items in your newly created collection, you can view the content of your collection by clicking the orange "View Collection" button.


Using the Edit Collection on the lower left corner, you can also add/edit a title and description to your collection. Switch the language tab on the top to enter both the title and description in the language of your choice. You can change your collection cover here. Once you have an item(s) with some image you will see all the available options under "Collection Image." You may upload an image from your own computer by clicking gray "Choosing Files" button. When you are done editing, make sure to click the orange "Update Collection" button to save.  


Editing Items in My Collection 

In the collection edit page, you can edit the ordering of items in your collection. By deafualt, items inside your collection reflect the order of the newest item added to the oldest item. You can change the order of the items in your collection by dragging an item and dropping in a place where you want the item to appear. Just like the search results, you can change the view of your collection by clicking etiher the photo view or the map view. If there is no image in your collection, you do not see anything in the view. Similarly, if none of the items in your collection have geolocation metadata, you will not see anything in the map view. When you mouse over an item, you will see the orange and red fields appear on the right side of the item. By clicking the red x, you can delete the specific item. 


Annotating Items in My Collection 

Once you've added items to your collection, you can personalize each item by adding a note. The Note Feature enables you to describe and to provide an impression and interpretation to an individual item. To add a note to an item, mouse over to a partiuclar item you are interested in adding a note and click on the orange icon on the right corner of the item to open a pop-up window. To add a note, enter in the note text field and click on the orange "Submit" button to save your note. If you would like to modify or delete the existing note, you can click on the orange icon on the item again to get back to the existing note. If your collection is public, other users can see your notes in the collection. Your notes do not modify the original data and only live within your collection. 



Partners with English Materials:


Partners with Numerous Images:


Filtering Large Searches: 

Example - “Women” pulls up 618 items


Displaying Hidden Features:

Adding Retweets to the Total Number of Tweets

  • Filter by “Tweets”  - 213,863 total tweets

  • Click “Show Retweets” from the results page



Viewing Japanese “Headlines” and Partner Content  for the 311Memories (Japanese)

  • Filter by Partner:  311Memories (0 items will appear)

  • Click “Show Headlines” from the results page 


  • With “Headlines” - 595,631 newspaper headlines appear (Japanese only)