Could CrowdOptic Be Used For Disaster Response?

CapturePatrick Meier: “Crowds—rather than sole individuals—are increasingly bearing witness to disasters large and small. Instagram users, for example, snapped 800,000 #Sandy pictures during the hurricane last year. One way to make sense of this vast volume and velocity of multimedia content—Big Data—during disasters is with PhotoSynth, as blogged here. Another perhaps more sophisticated approach would be to use CrowdOptic, which automatically zeros in on the specific location that eyewitnesses are looking at when using their smartphones to take pictures or recording videos….How does it work? CrowdOptic simply triangulates line-of-sight intersections using sensory metadata from pictures and videos taken using a smartphone. The basic approach is depicted in the figure below. The areas of intersection is called a focal cluster. CrowdOptic automatically identifies the location of these clusters….Clearly, all this could have important applications for disaster response and information forensics.”