Whether it's being used as Kanye West's online diary or as a news aggregate, Twitter's potential in the Information Age has become clear. Now, one group is using the social media platform to fight fires.
Developers at the Netherlands' Delft University of Technology created Twitcident, which searches through Twitter and other social media websites to find updates about emergencies, such as fires. It then sends helpful information to the authorities and first responders.
It reportedly finds only the important logistical information, rather than sending a whole bunch of "OMG THE HOUSE IZ ON FIRE!!!" tweets to the local fire department.
It first finds local emergency broadcasts of an incident. Once one is reported, it searches and analyzes tweets to sift out the unimportant details. The user can also choose what filters to place on the tweets that are displayed (for example, maybe you only want tweets from the bottom of the ocean).
Thus far, it's been used by the Dutch police and fire departments for the past ten months and will soon be released in beta to the public. See the video below for a demonstration.