Summer storm profiles the Hi-Tech advantage?

Last night Edmon­ton had a wicked sum­mer thun­der storm. Huge down­pour flood­ing many under­passes, golf-ball sized hail, and one heck of a light show.

The storm marched through Edmon­ton from south to north, and I was able to fol­low its devel­op­ment by using some high-tech tools and fol­low­ing com­ments from friends spread through­out the city on Twit­ter.

Recently, the Twit­ter hasht­ag #YEGWX has come to be the chan­nel of dis­cus­sion for any­thing related to Edmon­ton weath­er. YEG is the air­port code for the Edmon­ton Inter­na­tion­al Airport…WX is short-wave-radio Mor­ris Code for weath­er. #YEGWX.

Tonight, as the storm began hit­ting Edmon­ton, I was online and noticed a lot of tweets dis­cuss­ing the sever­ity of this storm.

The one thing I saw was that tra­di­tion­al media couldn’t keep up. Radio and TV ran offi­cial weath­er office Severe Thun­der­storm Warn­ings, but the warn­ing was lim­ited in the amount of detail. So I turned to my com­puter and G3 enabled iPad.

Social media brought me imme­di­ate details much rich­er and more mean­ing­ful than a bot­tom-screen crawl across a TV show would. Take a moment and check out the image below for details of the storm as it rolled through Edmon­ton.

So by fol­low­ing the high-tech crowd-sourced event-driv­en social media cov­er­age, I am much bet­ter informed about the ongo­ing events in my com­munity.

Which is sad because people without this type of con­nec­tion could lit­er­ally be in the dark with no under­stand­ing of what’s going on, no under­stand­ing if great­er danger is approach­ing or not, and no under­stand­ing what’s hap­pen­ing in the rest of the city.

Yes, this is old hat, we saw sim­il­ar cov­er­age in Janu­ary with the Haiti earth­quake, but why isn’t this bene­fit more widely under­stood, that on occa­sion there is a bene­fit to hav­ing this tech­no­logy avail­able — there is a high-tech advant­age. Why wouldn’t you want to share in it?

This post of is one of many I pub­lish weekly at the Future Shop Techb­log. Read more of my stuff here.

Published by Brad Grier geek.hack