We have spent some time talking about the value of Twitter as a tool for aggregating data on incidents, but there is another social tool that is often overlooked: Snapchat. While it’s easy to dismiss Snapchat as a millennial platform for sending silly pictures, Snapchat is able to aggregate individual video and image feeds based on geo-tags to provide video and images of the incident in near real time.
Two major events in the New York City area occurred last Thursday - a train crash in Hoboken Station and a structure fire in Brooklyn. Snapchat provided views of the incidents from the perspectives of the civilians closest to the sites to all Snapchat users from within the Stories area. Here are some of the ways these aggregated feeds from individuals on the scene can be helpful:
Overview of the Incident
What happened? When did it occur? These Snapchat stories quickly provide visuals of the incident as well as information on time and location.
Multiple Views of the Site
Crowdsourcing images and videos provides invaluable data of the incident: severity of the scene, size and scope of the incident, and number of individuals (both first responders and civilians) on location. This information can help first responders not on site assess the status of the site and make judgement calls around whether additional resources are required.
Severity of the Situation
How severe is the incident? One can quickly assess things like structure integrity, strength of fire, or injuries and make decisions around how to respond to the scenario.
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