Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Storm tracking!

All content, below, by the metro chicago information center

There is a new tool for Chicagoans to track the impact of the blizzard and collaborate to help neighbors in need.

By visiting http://chicagosnow.crowdmap.com, you can see a map of other reports, read news articles and Twitter posts about the storm, and add your own observations, complete with the option to add photos or video to the report, mapped to a particular location. There are no fees or costs to participate.

Based on a platform called Crowdmap.com, this project combines citizen reporting, mapping, and social media to create an aggregation and visualization of all the information Chicagoans feel like sharing about their experience during the snow storm. The Chicago Tribune Apps Team is leading the effort and MCIC's staff are helping moderate the tickets as they come in.

Reports can be tagged in different categories. There are codes for “closures” (road, school, and business), “help requests” (for people in need of shoveling help), and others for “fun” (sledding and skating stories). For example, a user could post that they witnessed an accident, so traffic isn't getting through on Clark Street at North Ave. Another user could post photos from their afternoon sledding in Grant Park. In other cities, some individuals have responded to these reports to help move stuck cars, shovel walkways, and check on people in need.

Help your neighbors, contribute to your community and help visualize the impending snowstorm.

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