I’m a Twit(terer) but did you know that the L.A. Fire Department is, too?
If you look over to the right under the Lijit widget, you’ll see that I use Twitter. It’s addictive. At first I thought it was stupid. Now I’m having simplex "conversations" with myself and others(?) that are strangely satisfying.
If you don’t happen to know what Twitter is, it’s basically a "micro-blogging" (ugh) social-networking site. Read more about it here.
If you were so inclined, you can feel free to bore yourself to tears by tapping into the ever-exciting neartime log of my activities — only to discover that all I do is eat and sit in airports. Thrilling.
However, as I was browsing the Twitter site today, I found that the L.A. Fire Department actually logs (all?) its calls to Twitter — it’s the web-based version of sitting in front of a scanner and listening to dispatch. They also maintain a blog. Imagine if the LAPD did the same…now that would be "fun."
Scoble covered this back in July and unfortunately I didn’t happen to see it at the time.
This got me thinking about not only how interesting this is to those whose hobby in the analog world is following the LAFD’s actions and this obviously unique particular application for information dispersal and broadcast of information from and to these first responders as an alert/emergency service, but also that of potential applications in the DoD space.
I’m readying another post regarding some of the impacts that Web2.x and various collaboration and interactive technologies have had on the modern warfighter, but thus really struck me as interesting.
With some of the various visualization tools coming to bear (Twitter is introducing one) one could take human-generated as well as automated feeds of unstructured, yet contextual theater updates (in addition to more structured data such as engagement, position, movement, number, etc.) and parse/visualize activity over time to arrive at some very interesting data points. More on that later, but noddle on it.
Back to the LAFD’s Twitter and why I’m bringing this up on my "security" blog…while it appears that these logs are public record, check out the information you can glean from these entries — they appear to be unparsed. Is anyone else concerned by the privacy implications of including personal information as part of these feeds…esp. when paired with the types of activities profiled in the abstracts?