SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- CrowdOptic, a maker of crowd-driven mobile applications and the creator of the first focal clustering technology for smart phones, today announced it has completed an analysis of amateur photos posted on social media sites which has revealed some of the top locations photographed during the major storm Sandy.
CrowdOptic's Enterprise Photo Curation Engine analyzed a set of thousands of publicly shared, crowd-sourced photos gathered from social media sites containing Sandy-related hashtags; the analysis revealed instances in which multiple lines of sight by amateur photographers converged around specific locations, pinpointing these locations as the most frequently documented by witnesses of the storm.
In order to comb through large photo archives and identify the photos of greatest significance, CrowdOptic used the existing photo metadata, as embedded in image EXIF format—including GPS position, compass heading, and time stamp—and applied proprietary algorithms and triangulation techniques to arrive at a relative significance value for each photo object. The analysis using such algorithms took a total of 1.216 seconds to complete.
Some of the most significant focal clusters revealed by CrowdOptic included a downed tree caused by the hurricane and a devastated home documented by onlookers, owners and eventually appraisers evaluating the scene for insurance purposes. CrowdOptic technology creates a cohesive chronology of an event location over time by annotating and authenticating all photos taken of the site by various onlookers.
"There is enormous potential for citizen reporting during an ongoing crisis such as Hurricane Sandy, yet up until now, the sheer volume of photo and video content contributed by the public, coupled with the unverified status of most of it, has limited the ability of publishers, broadcasters and enterprises to truly tap into it," said CrowdOptic CEO Jon Fisher. "With our technology, it is now possible to instantly hone in on the locations that are drawing heat from the public, where a cluster of focus has happened, and automatically catalog —even rebroadcast— authenticated images of these locations. CrowdOptic technology can identify clusters both in real time or after the fact by analyzing large image repositories, as our analysis of Hurricane Sandy historical photo archives has demonstrated."
CrowdOptic is a new crowd-powered "heat" signal – the next evolution of location-based services that recognizes the hottest crowd activity as it occurs. By tracking where smartphone cameras are located and where they are pointed, CrowdOptic can instantly filter mobile social media and create new opportunities for fan engagement. CrowdOptic identifies, tags and rebroadcasts the live event experience to the world, on mobile, social TV and second screens. CrowdOptic is a privately-held, venture-backed company based in San Francisco. For more information, visit www.crowdoptic.com.